057Write-Up & Photos By: Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb.com

Windsor, CT Mayor Don Trinks smiles as Gov. Dannel Malloy enjoys a sample at the 2014 Chili Challenge.

20th Annual Chili Challenge Windsor, Connecticut Saturday, October 3, 2015 on the Windsor Town Green 10:00 a.m. – 3 p.m. Windsor Mayor Don Trinks smiles as Gov. Dannel Malloy enjoys a sizzling sample at last year’s event.

There is something about October. It brings autumn’s colorful foliage and cooling air on dry, sunny days that make a heart feel light. It’s a time to savor every tinge of deep auburn, burnt orange and brilliant yellow of the turning leaves and even the muted tones that follow. Drinking in the beauty of this time of year is concurrently peaceful and exhilarating.

October in Connecticut.

Foliage in Connecticut.

 

October brings a cornucopia of activities. On Saturday, Oct. 3 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. the town green in Connecticut’s oldest town, Windsor, once again be the site of the Annual Chili Challenge – rain date is Oct. 4. In its 20th year, the Chili Challenge is a fun event where participants decorate their booths, dress up in costumes and contend for the title of chili royalty. Last year the event drew Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy. Windsor’s mayor, Don Trinks, is a past award-winner for his chili entries. If you miss the mayor’s secret recipe at the challenge, drive about a mile down the road to Bart’s Restaurant where he is owner and general manager and the chili is also served.

 

October is the time for the transition from sweatshirts and shorts to corduroys , turtlenecks and barn jackets (My treasured L.L.Bean barn jacket that I’ve had forever has a quilted lining that is toasty warm on chilly autumn nights or when standing on the sidelines of sporting events snapping photos on brisk October days.)

 

Ideal autumn attire - my treasured L.L.Bean barn jacket.

Ideal autumn attire – my treasured L.L.Bean barn jacket.

October is the time of year when nothing tastes quite as satisfying as hot apple cider and cinnamon donuts. Look for both at Buell’s 35th Annual Harvest Festival in Eastford, Connecticut on Saturday, October 10 and Monday, October 12. Buell’s is scheduled to have hay rides, apple picking and entertainment. As well, this is an ideal time of year to drive north in New England. On October 10 & 11 in Wareham, Massachusetts the 12th Annual Cranberry Harvest Celebration will be held, offering a chance to watch a cranberry harvest.

Hayride at Buell's Orchard in Eastford, CT.

Hayride at Buell’s Orchard in Eastford, CT.

 

 

October brings Fire Prevention Week in the United States and Canada. Some life-saving advice for October – change the batteries in your smoke alarms.

 

 

Of course, in October there are many a jack-o-lantern festivals to behold. In East Hampton at 93 East High Street from September 29 – October 3, Pumpkintown Village featuring “whimsically” decorated pumpkins will be donating 25 percent of admission costs to the Sandy Peszynski Breast Cancer Foundation. Pumpkintown has been named by Yankee Magazine as one of the top five pumpkin festivals in New England.

 

University of Connecticut football fans will gather Saturday, October 17 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford for the Homecoming Game. Yes, October is about football and tailgating.

 

If all of this isn’t reason enough to love October, it is also National Pizza Month!