WESTMINSTER — The smell of bubbling apple butter fills the air.
A pig, completewith apple in its mouth, turns slowly over an open pit.
Horse-drawn hay wagons rattle over the ground. Children scamper around the playground run by the Boy Scouts. Crafters peddle their wares while the sounds of bluegrass music drift over the cluster of farmbuildings.
It's none other than -- you guessed it -- the Carroll County Farm Museum's 26th annual Fall Harvest Days, ready to run 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
"A lot of people look forward to this event," says Dottie Freeman, administrative assistant at the Farm Museum. "We've got a real
quality lineup of entertainers, 75 crafts stands and 35 food booths."
And that's just for beginners. Remember the annual "Heaviest Pumpkin" contest? Well, this year the contest has been expanded to include everybody who comes to the Fall Harvest Days.
When you stop by to gape at the monster-size pumpkins,try to guess how much they weigh. Fill out an entry blank and put itin the box on the pumpkin wagon.
The winners of the biggest pumpkins will be announced at 11:45 a.m. Sunday, as will those who guessedclosest to the pumpkins' weight. Prizes and ribbons will be awarded.
"This is a fun event for the children, but we've had adults register, trying to beat out somebody else," Freeman says with a chuckle. "It brings back the good old days when a farmer would try to beat outthe farmer next door with the biggest pumpkin."
Anyone interestedin entering a pumpkin in the contest should bring their entry to theFarm Museum between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. tomorrow or Friday for registration.
As usual, lots of other activities will be taking place both days. Catch a wagon ride, wander the old-fashioned garden behindthe mansion, tour the main house, watch as skilled artisans demonstrate crafts of a bygone era.
"We'll have corn husking from 11 to noon and threshing at 1:30 p.m., both days," Freeman says. "The Boy Scouts have built a large wooden playground, and children can go on thatfor $1."
Add some color to your yard this fall with a your very own scarecrow. For only $8, get everything you need to make a straw man.
If you're hungry by now, you have some big decisions to make --chicken, pork, hot dogs, hamburgers, fries, Polish sausage, fudge orbrownies or fresh apple pie or maple candy?
Spend the day and sample a little of it all. There's more yet to keep you busy.
Relax in front of the stage while the Paradise Club, Whirligig, Monumental Brass Quintet, Beaver Creek Band and the Dixieland Band take turns at providing entertainment Saturday.
Sunday's lineup of performers includes Free Wheeling, Bob Paisley and Southern Grass, Swing Central and Jerry Brown strolling on stilts.
Wander around the Farm Museum grounds, check out the historical displays, watch the animals and seewhat farm life was like 100 years ago.
"The General Store will beopen and selling candy sticks, toys and handcrafted items made by the artisans," Freeman says. "The store is synonymous of things you'd find in a late 1800s store."
Admission to fall harvest days is $4 for adults, $2 for children 6-18 and seniors over 60, and free for children under 6 with a chaperon. No pets or alcohol are permitted on the grounds.
The Farm Museum is at 500 S. Center St.