Harvest and Heritage Festival

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HONESDALE -- As the leaves begin to turn brilliant colors in Wayne County, businesses along Main Street in Honesdale are decorating and getting ready for the Annual Harvest and Heritage Days.

"We have old-fashioned hay rides, we have children's pumpkin painting from noon to four, we have lots and lots of craft vendors, great restaurants and wonderful shops," said Gail Tucker, Greater Honesdale Partnership Executive Director.

Owners of The Gentle Arts Store along Main Street said they'll be spinning and knitting this weekend and hope to draw in some new customers.

"It`s a great opportunity for them to come out and meet with their neighbors. There`s some great shopping bargains to be had through here, but it`s a good time to get together while we still have great weather," said Bill Bellhorn, Director of Operations.

Visitors usually can also catch a ride on the Stourbridge trains to explore the beauty beyond Main Street, but maintenance and ownership issues have those rides derailed for at least this year.

Even though these train excursions won`t be running up and down the tracks, the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce said there`s plenty of other ways to explore the fall foliage, and businesses hope that it draws more foot traffic downtown.

"We have driving tours, we have walking tours. Wayne County is a beautiful place. We`re filled with natural beauty and most to be quite honest, that is the way they do it," said  Donna LaBor, Wayne County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director.

The annual wing and chili contest is back for the festival as well and the People's Choice Champion, Fiesta on Main will return to defend its title. They said their secret to winning is in their cooking skills.

"Just the ingredients we use and the way that you mix them together, the flavor that comes from that, I think it`s the talent not a secret," said Lalo Martinez, Co-owner of Fiesta on Main.

Co-Owner Anna Valerio said she's looking forward to the wings, but also enjoying the festival she's grown up with.

"They`re good for bringing tourism to town, but also just getting people out and about and creating a sense of community," said Valerio.

Many of the festivities will be held outdoors and are free to the public. If the weather does turn, the Greater Honesdale Partnership said there's plenty of good indoor shopping deals and bargains to be had this weekend.