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North Hills Monthly

Fall Fun in Butler County

Sep 01, 2017 08:28AM ● By Vanessa Orr

Saxonburg Festival of the Arts

School may be back in session, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t still a lot of fun to be had in fall! In Butler County, for example, there’s something happening almost every weekend, whether you want to celebrate the arts, spend the day visiting with friends in the community, or even indulge in an authentic Italian meal. Winter is coming soon enough, so get outside and enjoy the crisp autumn weather while you can!

Butler Italian Festival, Sept. 1-4, Main Street

This is the first year for the Butler Italian Festival, an authentic Italian festival featuring live entertainment, Italian food, cooking demonstrations, bocce, a kids’ zone, Miss Italy Butler Pageant, Italian Idol contest, grape stomping and more. There will be more than 100 food and craft vendors on hand for this festival, which looks to become a yearly event.

“While this is our inaugural event celebrating Italian heritage and culture, we hope to make it an annual event,” said Michael Dongilli, one of the event producers, adding that the same management group that hosts Little Italy Days in Bloomfield is putting on this festival. “We feel that this is a natural fit for the area because of the sizable Italian population in western Pennsylvania, including in Butler County.”

The festival will host mostly Italian-themed entertainment, including Marco Fiorante of Cellion San Marco, Italy, and Dean Martin impersonator “Billy Mancini.” Donnie (Ierace) Iris and the Granati Brothers will perform, as well as an Earth, Wind and Fire tribute band.

“Everyone should come, regardless of their nationality,” added Dongilli. “Everyone likes Italian food and culture!”

The event is free, and will be held Sept. 1 from 5-9 p.m., Sept. 2-3 from noon to 6 p.m., and Sept. 4 from noon-6 p.m.

32nd Annual Saxonburg Festival of the Arts, Sept. 9-10, Cooper Hall, Roebling Park and Main Street

For more than three decades, thousands of people have visited the charming town of Saxonburg to enjoy this festival, where more than 100 vendors will be showcasing art, handmade jewelry, wooden signs, knit/crochet items, primitives, fudge and other baked goods. In addition to antique tractors and a Civil War encampment on site, the RodFathers Car Cruise will take place on Main Street on Saturday.

“We will be having a chainsaw woodcarving demonstration by Damian Skal, and a fire-eating and belly dancing demonstration by DYEnamic Flame on Sunday,” said Hannah Finke, vice-chairman, Saxonburg Historical and Restoration Commission and vendor coordinator for the festival. “We also have a vendor that sells his oil paintings on canvas, and actually does painting during the festival, and another vendor that makes wooden bowls and cutting boards who will be doing demonstrations.” In addition, Saxonburg Memorial Presbyterian Church will be hosting a fine art exhibit and photography show, and a quilt show will be taking place at St. Luke's Lutheran Church.

Free parking and shuttle provided. Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., noon-5 p.m. 

Adams Township Community Day, Sept. 9, 
698 Valencia Road, Mars

Catch up with other community members at this family-friendly event, featuring a 5K race, food trucks, bounce house, petting zoo, fireworks and more. Free.  1-10 p.m.

Dog Paddle Pool Pawty, Sept. 10, Alameda Park Pool

Fall fun isn’t just for people! Bring your dog to Alameda Park Pool for this canine-only swim event, sponsored by Butler County Parks and Rec in conjunction with the Butler Humane Society. The Humane Society will receive 50 percent of proceeds; cost is $10 per canine. Make sure to bring a copy of your pet’s license and current vaccination records. 1-4:30 p.m.

Evans City Oktoberfest, Sept. 15-17, Main Street

Highlights of this Evans City event include a quilt show, crafts, food vendors, games, all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast, parade, kids’ tractor pull, fireworks, car cruise, a performance by the Dawn Savage Band and more. Fri. 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat. 7 a.m. -9 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 

Slippery Rock Villagefest, Sept. 16, Main Street

A free street festival featuring children's activities, balloon sculptures, pony rides, face painting, pet rock painting, a treasure hunt and more. There will be several craft and food vendors, as well as a farmers’ market, live music and entertainment. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Whispering Pines Festival in the Woods, Sept. 16-17 

This festival, which is held twice a year in June and September, features many talented vendors and outstanding artisans. Visitors can purchase unique finds in a variety of areas, including repurposed, industrial, antiques, jewelry, decor, botanical, garden art, and blacksmithing, and there will also be artists’ demonstrations. In addition, antique tractors, cars and trucks will be on display all weekend. Admission is $5 for guests and free for children 12 years and younger. Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 

Butler Fall Festival, Sept. 23, Main Street

A family-oriented festival featuring regional crafters, children’s activities, food vendors and entertainment. Free. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

20th Annual Septemberfest, Sept. 24, Alameda Park

The 20th Annual Septemberfest is back and admission is still free! The event includes a 5K race and award-winning youth fishing derby, along with games, children’s activities, music, prizes, and the annual Alameda Septemberfest Car Cruise. 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.

Butler County Farm Tour, Oct. 7-8, Local farms

This event is a free, drive-it-yourself tour of local farms, where you can meet the hardworking people who grow and harvest food. The tour will feature five different farms in the northern part of Butler County, and each of the participating farms will highlight its own goods, activities and/or food for visitors of all ages to enjoy. The family-friendly event offers a variety of children’s activities ranging from petting alpacas to learning about horses, face painting, corn mazes, hayrides and more. Several local businesses will also be teaming up with the farm tour to provide food and drink specials and live demonstrations. 

“With agriculture being one of Butler County’s top industries, it’s really important to educate the community about our local farms. They provide us with so much from what we eat to what we wear, and it’s really neat to get a behind-the-scenes look at all that hard work and dedication,” said Jack Cohen, president of Butler County Tourism & Convention Bureau.

Participating farms and businesses include Cheeseman Farm, Pinehall at Eisler Farms, Lutherlyn Equestrian Center, WestPark Alpacas, Stuchal Farms, Best Eat & Treats, DR Distillery, Glass Blowing Center, North Country Canning Company, Playthings Etc. Family Toys & Hobbies, and Zanella Milling.

For more information or to view an interactive map with each location’s touring times, go to  10 a.m.- 4 p.m.

32nd Annual Mars Applefest, Oct. 7

Enjoy a day of fun, food and shopping. Entertainment will be on the main stage at the corner of Grand Ave. and Pittsburgh St. Free. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 

Portersville Steam Show Fall Fling, Oct. 7-8

Take a step back in time and embrace history and heritage at the Portersville Steam Show Fall Fling. Replicating a wide variety of agriculture from the 1920s, this unique festival features tractor pulls, steam engines, train rides, crafts, a flea market, live demonstrations and much more! Enjoy fresh apple cider and fall festivities while strolling through the vintage village in Portersville. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 

Zelienople-Harmony Fall Festival, 

Oct. 14-15, Main Street, Zelienople

Two days of live musical entertainment including The Banjo All Stars, Nathan Massie, The One Woman Band, The Butler Notables, the North Star Kids and more. Delicious homemade country food, arts & crafts, free horse-drawn wagon rides, chainsaw carving, a farmer’s market, petting farm, sidewalk sales and more. Saturday’s special features include Amish donuts and a chili cook-off. Sunday will feature a car cruise, and the Musical Jubilee featuring the favorites of country and Broadway music. Local antique and gift shops, restaurants, museums and stores will also be open. Free shuttle bus.

Sleepy Hollow Festival, Oct. 14, 539 Main Street, Harmony

Sponsored by the Harmony Business Association, this all-day event will feature live music, face painting, ghost walks and more. “If people are looking for a family-friendly event with plenty for the kids to do, the Sleepy Hollow Festival is the place to go,” said MJ McCurdy of Bottlebrush Gallery. “We have kids' games, trick-or-treat, a scavenger hunt, and a costume contest for kids and pets, too. This year's new event is a wiener dog race!”

The festival is held in conjunction with the Zelienople-Harmony Fall Festival. Free. 11 a.m.-8 p.m.   

For more information on any of these events, visit