The pancake breakfast begins at 8 a.m. Saturday as does the race. Race participants receive breakfast as part of their entry fee. The breakfast cost for others is $5.
Doris Purdom, who served as the 38-year-old festival's chairman for several years, agrees with Gorley that Forkland is the place to be.
"You could go nonstop all day," she says.
Rob Pendygraft, caretaker at the wildlife refuge on Carpenters Creek Road, says the color walk will begin at 10 a.m. from the parking lot and cover 2.6 miles. He recommends wearing sturdy shoes and bringing water. He admits that peak fall color does not occur in the knobs until later in October, but says some colors will be visible during the walk.
"I think in the future, we're talking about moving it to a week later. The color is at its peak a week or two later."
Pendygraft says the walk will stimulate his appetite and he plans to address his hunger pains by heading to the festival because the food is one of the main draws for him.
"My favorite part is just visiting with everybody," he says.
Festival of food
For those planning to eat the festival, there will be a few new food offerings. Steve Shepperson will have roast corn, sweet potatoes and turkey legs. Pleasant Run Baptist Church will offer sub sandwiches and Minors Branch Market will have soup.
Other additions to the festival include an art display of Marjory Ellis' work. Ellis taught art for years at the community center and provided hand-painted table favors for the Twilight Christmas dinners. At the festival, a booth of pumpkins with painted faces was one example of her work.
The silent auction is a big draw with one of the main items being a king-size quilt made by an Amish woman in the Heritage Medallion pattern.
Descendants of the Reynolds family will demonstrate lye soap making.
"They're doing that in a big cast iron pot outside," says Purdom, noting that its the same pot used by their ancestors.
The festival also features sorghum making, a working blacksmith, an antique machinery display, an Indian teepee and a frontiersmen camp. Much work has been done on a log cabin on the grounds that is decorated much like it would have been during Abe Lincoln's life. Inside the community center is a Lincoln Museum.
One of the main draws is the bean supper and drama both Friday and Saturday. Jamie Hamblin, Purdom's granddaughter, is in her eight year of writing the drama. Last year focused on Abe Lincoln, who has ties to area through his maternal grandmother. This year, the story returns to a young couple that has settled on the Fork, where the wife grew up. "A Nice Quiet Thanksgiving on the Fork" is about the young bride, Mabel, thinking she can cook Thanksgiving for her family because most everyone has made travel plans.
"Mabel says, 'There's just four of us and let me fix dinner,'" Purdom says. "Everybody's plans are wiped away and Thanksgiving winds up being for 20 people."
Jeanne Lane, who operates Penn's Store, about four miles west of the community center, says she never knows what to expect for her second Sunday picking and singings.
Lane plans to be at the historic store 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The musical event begins at 1 p.m. Oct. 11, an hour earlier than its normal time.
Lane says she dreams of a day when she could open an inn in the area to offer overnight accommodations to visitors.
"You could have a few rooms and have seminars," she says.
In the meantime, she says for this special weekend anyone wanting to camp Saturday night in front of the store, should call her at (859) 332-7706.
She knows that Forkland, with its knobs and creeks, represents a haven that holds a lot of appeal.
"You can't find much country anymore."
Festival hours are 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $2 for adults, $1 for children and free for 5 and under. For more information, call (859) 332-7146 or 332-7839. The Web site is www.forklandcomctr.org. E-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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