autumn friendship quoteAutumn is a second Spring where every leaf is a flower.” Albert Camus

I’ll be the first to admit that I am not a fan of sauerkraut. Finely cut cabbage fermented by various lactic acid bacteria is one step away from eating Kale (for you Dana!) – it hardly seems to me to be something to bring about happiness; much less something an entire town and its inhabitants would plan a fall festival around. But each fall, Waynesville, Ohio does exactly that, drawing thousands upon thousands of people – including me – to a weekend celebrating sauerkraut in all its glory.

The days are getting shorter, cooler, summer is on the wane and autumn is fast approaching. You can feel it. So it’s time to celebrate the harvest in a thousand different ways in a thousand different small towns – it is the happiness brought about at harvest festival time.

Whether it’s the Apple Festival in La Crescent, Minnesota, the Pumpkin Fest in Crest Hill, Illinois, or the Sussex County Harvest, Honey and Garlic Festival in Augusta, New Jersey, celebrating the prosperity, joy and happiness of the harvest has been a part of the human experience since time began.

Fall festivals are a reminder that there are fruits born of our labor, and that the labor isn’t always easy, but worth it in the end. I personally use the occasions to spend some time with my girlfriends. I’m thankful for the growth and harvest of real friendship. A festival is a great place to catch up on life, browse the arts and crafts, sample some unique food offerings, people watch, and do a great deal of smiling and laughing. Festivals make me happy.

Fall festival season has begun girlfriends, and continues through Thanksgiving, so do a little looking to find a few fall festivals in your area that would be a great way to spend a day with your girlfriends. Then make it a date!

And if you get to the Waynesville Sauerkraut Festival, make sure to try the sauerkraut pie! Seriously.

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