Communities across the area celebrated fall Saturday and children found themselves among some of the best hallmarks of the season.
Outdoor games, candy and food were of most concern to children at the Dumfries Fall Festival in the town’s Merchant Park.
Children got spooked in the haunted pavilion and they jumped around on a moonbounce.
The Dumfries Triangle Rescue Squad sponsored firefighter boot races and handed out blue plastic helmets as part of its awareness event at the festival.
Children put on adult-sized firefighter boots and raced each other through a row of orange safety cones.
“This is going to be easy,” said Dominique Major, 10.
But then EMTs Nancy Kenny and Ashley McCormack made him and another boy race backwards.
It was harder than it looked.
When Jalena Quinn, 4, and Keyana Anglin, 2, put on the firefighter boots, they had to hold on tight to their bootstraps, which were about waist high.
“You walk with me; take big steps!” said McCormack, who helped Jalena along the track.
The 4 year old had a height advantage and with the longer legs, she won.
All of the children received prizes and took home their firefighter helmets.
Area crafters sold jewelry, books and bags at the afternoon event.
“I always feel so welcome when I come to this town,” said Diane Reiter of Manassas. She sold her company’s Cookie Lee necklaces, bracelets and earrings. “The locals, they are just wonderful,” she said.
Jean McGary of Lake Ridge crochets blankets, angel ornaments and sews pincushions.
“I’m noted for my baby blankets,” McGary said. To underscore the claim, a Prince William County Fair blue ribbon was pinned to one of the baby blankets on her table.
Nearby, Melissa McGee showed girls how to grind wheat, shave cinnamon sticks and crush sugar in the Colonial-era style.
“That takes a long time to do that,” one girl said as she rubbed a cinnamon stick along a grater, producing cinnamon powder.
McGee, who was dressed in layers of Colonial garb, agreed.
But the orange peels, black tea and sweet cinnamon powder were surely signs and smells that autumn is here.