Autumn is easily my favorite season for so many reasons: the beautiful foliage, the festive decorations, the perfect weather that always seems to have crisp air, the pumpkin-flavored variations of everything, Halloween and the never-ending fall-themed events!

So, when I saw on Fairfield’s town calendar that there was a Harvest Market Festival only a few minutes off of campus, I immediately marked it down on my cellphone’s calendar. This annual event took place on 611 Old Post road on Oct. 16 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

  The market was home to over 60 local vendors, many of whom participated in Fairfield’s weekly farmers market during the summer months. Tents were filled with handmade jewelry, clothing, fresh oil, spice packets, soaps and more. 

The one vendor that drew me in the second I saw it was a small business called 2 Latitudes, which is based in Weston, Conn. and owned by Jason and Natalie Hall. The couple set up rows on rows of beautiful candles in an organized and clean manner. My friend and I couldn’t help but open each one and take a whiff of the comforting aroma. 

But what makes the candles even better is that they are 100 percent soy-based, a distinct and important difference from petroleum-based candles that emit black soot and toxic fumes that are similar to diesel exhaust such as benzene, toluene, naphthalene, tri-decane, tetra-decane, penta-decane, and hexadecane. This was one of the main factors the couple decided to expand their Adirondack furniture business to include candles. 2 Latitudes’ wicks are also lead and zinc-free, making it much safer to light the candle inside a house.

After testing each candle, I narrowed down my purchase to two scents: lavender and sea salt orchid. They both invoke the feeling of peace and clarity, making me super excited to light them up!

While the harvest market included a multitude of exciting bullet points, the obvious selling point of the event for me was the dog Halloween costume parade! I was in full amazement and overwhelming joy each time I spotted a pet in full costume trotting through the fairgrounds. 

Some of my favorites included a wiener dog brother and sister dressed as a taco and hotdog, a black labrador as a spider (which reminded me of my dog back home) and a golden retriever as a turkey!

Due to the parade, a lot of tents were specialized towards pets. Some of these stations included Earth Animal which sells “easily-digestible” pet snacks, as well as Choice Pet and Pet Pantry Warehouse. Additionally, the first tent that most attendees see as they enter the event, was an Adopt a Dog table that advertised dogs looking for homes. 

As a newly nineteen-year-old college student with no salary, I knew there was no point in visiting the table. However, the large poster board with pictures of smiling dogs told me I had no choice. I sulked at the puppies for a few minutes before forcing myself to move on to the next vendor.

On the other side of the clearing, was a designated spot for food trucks. These restaurants included Lobster Craft, Bodega Taco, Bella Sera, Dude’s Donuts, Little Kernel’s Kettle Corn and SWAT Southern Wings and Things. Even though every menu item made me drool, I felt it was only right to indulge in some fall-inspired treats from Dude’s Donuts. 

When I first hopped into the insanely long line, I was only set on purchasing a cup of apple cider, but I quickly became fixated on their specialty donut of the day: an apple pie donut. I blame their hard-to-miss advertised picture and the all-too-good smell that escaped their truck. Luckily, the wait didn’t last very long, and I was able to snag my own drink and made-to-order dessert for only eight dollars!

Since there weren’t any open tables or chairs nearby, my friends and I sat down on the lawn of the Old Fairfield Academy, as it would’ve been a bit of a challenge trying to eat this monster of a donut while also holding my purse, bag of candles and cup of cider. 

Once I took my first bite, my eyes were wide with amazement. I couldn’t believe how fresh and delicious it was, especially since I’m not even a huge fan of donuts. The dough was still warm and the thickness complimented the apple pie filling perfectly. After a few minutes of constant chewing, I knew I was going to be filled for the rest of the day, as I was already starting to bloat. Nevertheless, I have no regrets.

To the right of where I sat, the Fairfield Rotary Club hosted their annual beer garden which was fenced in for any event-goers who were of legal drinking age as well. In addition to the tasty craft beers, there was live music performed by the Sabbs Brothers that made a wonderful addition to the day, as it felt like I was in a scene of “Gilmore Girls.” 

The Harvest Market Festival proved to be a memorable and special experience for me, making it one of my top favorite Fairfield events. I will be sure to be on the lookout for next year’s date, awaiting more well-dressed dogs and yummy donuts!

 

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