Cloudy skies couldn’t keep the residents of Bluffton from coming out on Saturday morning to enjoy the many attractions of this year’s Fall Festival. The earliest stop was at Bluffton Family Recreation for the American Red Cross blood drive and the health fair. Several organizations were set up in the gym of the BFR ready to answer questions from those wandering through the booths. Festival goers took advantage of free health screenings and the opportunity to speak with local healthcare facility representatives. The Bluffton Fire Department was also on hand at the BFR.
This year’s theme is ancient Egypt. Themes from year’s past have included: Fun on the Farm, Woods and Water, Castle Days and Knights, Celebrating Ohio, The Greatest Show in Corn, Pirate Trails and Treasure, Walking with Dinosaurs, Adventures in Space and Wild West. I am, of course, referring to the corn maze at Suter’s Produce in Pandora. Jerry and Nancy Suter, along with their son, Tom, own and operate Suter’s Produce. Tom designs and plans each maze during the winter months and then, with the help of a few high school and college kids, cuts it out in June.
Fall leaf removal will also be beginning soon again in Bluffton. Assistant Village Administrator, Nancy Benroth, said that the Village will wait for the first cold snap. They will know about a week or two ahead of time when the pick-ups will officially begin.
The shift from summer to fall is always accompanied by a change in the leaves from green to warmer shades of red, yellow and orange. Those out around Bluffton this month may have already noticed the fallen leaves that line the sidewalks. Many of the trees in this area have dropped their leaves early in the season due to drier than normal weather conditions. “The early drop of the leaves is a way for the trees to conserve their resources,” said Bluffton Tree Commission Chairperson, Joanne Antibus. In addition to the change in the appearance of the existing trees, residents might notice the addition of a few more trees to the streets in town. The Bluffton Tree Commission will be planting trees very soon to replace those lost to Emerald Ash Borer Disease. Emerald Ash Borer Disease, caused by a small flying insect native to China, has greatly affected this area of the country and will continue to cause problems in areas with ash trees, including Bluffton. The Commission experienced a freeze in their funding, but the money allocated to The Bluffton Tree Commission was recently released by Mayor Fred Rodabaugh. The Commission must spend a certain amount of money every year, about $2.00 per resident, to keep their status as a Tree City. In addition, they must also have five members, celebrate Arbor Day and write an annual report. They will use these recently released funds to purchase and plant new trees.