The first official day of fall may have been Sept. 22 and the weather of the past few days was more reminiscent of summer. But in Medina County fall will be in full swing this weekend when the 50th annual Medina County Fall Foliage Tour takes place from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at various locations.
What started in 1968 as a way to honor the farming roots of the area has grown to be a much-anticipated drive-it-yourself expedition with an emphasis on agriculture, education and history.
“When it originally started it was actually a farm tour,” said Beth Schnabel, event chairwoman.
Medina has become less rural in recent years with manufacturing increasing. As such, agriculture businesses and greenhouses are now part of the tour. “But the one thing we were committed to do was to make sure that this would be an educational tour, not a commercial (tour),” said Schnabel.
The Fall Foliage Tour Committee organizes the tour, which is funded through participation fees and community sponsorships.
Agencies represented on the organizing committee are Medina County Park District, Medina County Soil and Water Conservation District, Medina County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Medina County District Library, and Medina County Farm Bureau.
Each year, the tour highlights places of interest that can include farms, agriculture businesses, historical societies, and special events.
- Pioneers in the Park, Buckeye Woods Park, 6335 Wedgewood Road, Medina
- Northern Ohio Railway Museum, 5515 Buffham Road, Seville
- Morning Star Farm Ministries, , 9421 Friendsville Road, Seville
- Lodi Library, 635 Wooster Street, Lodi
- Lodi Harrisville Historical Society, 111 Harris Street, Lodi
- Lodi Railroad Museum, 204 Railroad Street, Lodi
- Mack’s Food Center, 9945 Greenwich Road, Lodi
- Richman Farms, 7833 Richman Road ,Lodi
- Pine Crest Farms, 7586 River Corners, Spencer
- Circle B Stables, 5815 Root Road, Spencer.
Saturday and Sunday, the 10 stops will feature family-friendly activities likes pioneer re-enactments, a full dairy farm operation where attendees can view calves and see a state-of-the-art milking parlor, a turn of the century horse farm where various riding techniques and a market where jerky, smokies and sausages are made.
The tour will also provide information and signage at farms on how much different equipment costs and how many hours it takes to harvest crops, Schnabel said.
The Northern Ohio Railway Museum even managed to bring in old trolley cars that have been restored by volunteers. One of the trolley cars will be in operation for guests, Schnabel said.
“Fall Foliage guests can get in the car and be pulled by an old train up to the rest of the museum,” she said.
Schnabel said the Fall Foliage 50th anniversary display as well as the Medina County Bicentennial Bell will be temporarily on display at the Lodi Library.