The annual Fall Furnace Fest will be held Saturday, October 15 through Sunday, October 16 at Pine Grove Furnace State Park. The festival will have food and craft vendors, live music, pumpkin carving and paining, candle dipping, scarecrow making, hay rides, live alpacas, chainsaw carving demonstrations and hands-on nature crafts.
The legend of the Hairy Hand is a Fall Furnace Fest tradition. At 7:00 on Saturday evening, the legend will told and the raft of glowing pumpkins will set afloat on Fuller Lake to keep the hairy hand away. Participants can come early to carve a pumpkin and dip a candle to add to the raft. A bonfire at the Ironmasters mansion will follow.
Pine Grove Furnace and the surrounding area is rich with history and visitors can see demonstrations on charcoal making, blacksmithing, broom making, and apple cider making and tasting. To learn more about the history of Pine Grove Furnace as an iron industry town, participants are invited to hear a history talk at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday at the Furnace Stack Area. For kids, there will also be a history scavenger hunt at the same location and time.
The Ironmasters Mansion, which is located in the park, will feature a Forest Festival on its grounds on Saturday October 15 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The area will feature vendors and booths showcasing a wide variety of wood products and wood artisans. The 34-foot “Woodmobile”, a traveling exhibit from the PA Department of Agriculture, will also be on site. The Ironmasters Mansion has been recently renovated and is managed by the Central Pennsylvania Conservancy. There will also be an open house at the mansion on Sunday, October 16.
During the festival, the Appalachian Trail Museum, which is located in the park, will be open to visitors. The museum opened in 2010 and is the first and only museum dedicated to hiking. It tells the story of those who have hiked and maintained the 2,181 mile long hiking trail that passes through 14 states from Maine to Georgia.
The live entertainment will be held at Fuller Lake. Saturday, October 15, Lost Companion (folk) will play at 2:00 p.m. and Acoustic Juice (classic rock) will play at 5:00 p.m. On Sunday, October 16, Randy Heisley-Cato (folk) will play at 1:00 p.m., and there will be a bluegrass jam starting at 3:00 p.m.
All activities and events will be held at the Fuller Day Use Area and the Furnace Stack Area, rain or shine. Most activities are free, and there is no fee for admission to the festival.