Splash: Summer’s done — but Green Laker Country still heaps of fun

A pumpkin carved into a mythical monster leers back at visitors to last year’s Harvest Fest in Green Lake. Although you may be making this face at the thought of colder weather, be cheered by the many activities, such as Harvest Fest, you can cozy up to this fall in Green Laker Country. Aaron Becker photo

by Maic D’Agostino

I have a confession to make.

I like cooler weather.

And not just like it, I prefer it.

So of all the seasons, which each have their appeal, I like autumn best of all.

The brisk air, the pullover sweaters, the warm coffee, the insane vibrancy of deciduous Midwest trees as the chlorophyll in their leaves breaks down.

How could you not love it?

I guess maybe you could be a student who doesn’t want to hit the schoolbooks again.

Or you could be like my wife, who threatens to serve me divorce papers if I so much as utter the word “snow” before Christmas.

Perhaps saddest of all — and I’ll give you this — is the shortening of days, a lessening of sunshine and a diminishing of summer festivals and fun.

But, hey, this is Green Laker Country. We find ways to celebrate all year round, rain or shine, summer breeze or autumnal gusts.

From new endeavors to long-standing traditions, there’s something for everyone to enjoy this fall.

Even if you think pumpkin spice is disgusting.

* * *
A great way to kick off the harvest season is with Green Lake’s annual Harvest Fest Saturday, Sept. 23 and Sunday, Sept. 24.

With crafts and food to rival any summer fest, participants also can find good deals at Thrasher Opera House’s Harvest of Bargains or win big at Town Square’s Harvest Bingo.

Whatever your preference, there definitely will be fun to reap in Green Lake that weekend.

Feeling more in the party mood and like to support good causes?

Green Lake residents Mike and Jill Havey are throwing a party with a purpose.

The first-ever Green Lake Community Street Bash will rock the city’s Dartford Mill Pond Saturday, Sept. 30.

The event will raise funds for three local non-profit organizations: the Green Lake American Legion, the Green Lake Association and Town Square.

Speaking of parties, what would October be without Green Lake’s Oktoberfest?

You can join in the fun — with or without lederhosen — Saturday, Oct. 21 at Heidel House Resort & Spa.

Of course, Halloween is another hallmark of the month, and Berlin will be getting its spook on.

The Misery Haunted House at 299 S. Pearl St. will creak open its doors each Friday and Saturday beginning Friday, Sept. 29.

More haunts are in store for the city when the 15th-annual Ghost Walk appears.

Sponsored by the Berlin Area Historical Society, the walk will tour Oakwood Cemetery in Berlin Saturday, Oct. 14, with a theme recognizing the 100th anniversary of the United States’ involvement in World War I.

Meanwhile in Princeton, the city will give back to the vendors of its famous Flea Market by offering the market’s final day, Saturday, Oct. 14, fee-free.

And if that isn’t sweet enough, one week later locals can sink their teeth into fall delicacies for Princeton’s Sweet Event Saturday, Oct. 21.

Want to get the jump on fall fashion?

There may not be many days left to get wet in Ripon’s new splash pad in Riggs County Park, but local boutiques will make a splash on the runway just north of town.

The “Crush the Runway” Fashion Show will grace Vines & Rushes Winery Thursday, Oct. 12.

Participating boutiques include Ripon’s Brinkley’s Boutique, The American Alchemy, Hamilton’s Ladies Apparel and Dear Prudence, Violet & Company of Berlin and Blonde Russian from Oshkosh.

And there will be other chances to be fall-fancy in town, too.

Ripon’s Wine Walk and Art Walk will take to the streets downtown Friday, Nov. 3.

Not to be left out, Green Lake’s Wine Fest will give tasters another chance for grape-based enjoyment Saturday, Nov. 11 at Heidel House.

* * *
With all that and much, much more going on in our communities, you can comfortably bid adieu to summer while opening your arms to fall.

As the days darken and the nights cool, we’ll just have to huddle closer together, laugh louder and warm our hearts with company with the sun isn’t available.

Until next summer, Green Lakers: sayonara!