It was the pattering sounds of rain boots at play, umbrellas personified in the likeness of amphibious friends and warm coffee cups that made for a cool October at this year’s 62nd annual Autumn Leaf Festival.
In the final weekend of its seasonal relevance, “A Canvas of Color” is spattered in the creases of the grounds sullied flesh where a toe’s imprint suggests the story of autumn’s new arrival.
A Crafter’s Day generation of sleepy baby strollers came of age in an 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. dream sequence of Steeler-centric souvenirs, animal knick-knack enthusiast collections and one-size-fits-most dollhouse play clothes on the Main Street stretch of white top paradise inventions.
Autumn Leaf’s last Friday once again fulfilled its yearly promise of Elk Jerky selections, Cook Forest woodworked furnishings and charming home décor cosmetics with persuasive slogan attachments.
Its only regression includes a withholding of the alpaca tradition for woven fall accessories before the wintery knock out that often dooms the passé.
The silvery disposition of Clarion residents ran with the ember colors of the air’s chill, which found its motley stream bound to the sky’s matching huen. The result of a lacking sun during the Saturday parade meant a stronger emphasis to be placed on performers and their choreographed antics.
Leap of Faith’s community of toddler-aged gymnasts amused festival attendees with effortless slinky toy cartwheels and step, touch and clap dance moves to a looping playlist of boisterous bubblegum pop.
The line-up of performers matured to a college age as the Clarion University dance team approached their underscored display of ballet influence.
Saturday’s Oct. 3 parade faded to a school spirited “white out” at Memorial Stadium. The 2 p.m. homecoming event saw Clarion’s Golden Eagles emerge victorious to the delight of the many community members and its respective university scholars in attendance.
The fourth quarter ended on a rather high note on Clarion’s part with a score of 41 points to a respectable effort of 27 points for Mercyhurst University.
Having this score on record places Clarion at a 5-0 status, which is the first time that the school’s football team has accomplished this accolade since the year 1983.
The final day of carnival wanderlust came with an unusual ease as the weather illuminated itself to glow a cerulean brilliance. The vendors had disappeared from the Main Street alleyways and Clarion Park altogether by the evening dissension.
Just like clockwork, the Vinny’s eatery cooks sold their final slices of zero topping pizza to the lucky few who were still in town to know its familiar Autumn Leaf flavor of customer appreciation.