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Newton Falls Kicks Off Autumn Events

Newton Falls – It’s that time of year again (believe it or not): the air is growing a little bit crisper, the leaves are starting to turn a little bit more colorful, and the shops we know and love have seemingly morphed into purveyors of all things autumn with their warm-toned décor and pointed wafting of delicious pumpkin-y and cider smells. Not only do all of these favorite things signify the arrival of the chillier months, but they also serve as harbingers for some of Newton Falls’ favorite things: the yearly fall events looked forward to by residents and visitors alike.

In addition to the successful recent Labor Day Run/Walk, running strong for the past two dozen years, another sure sign of fall is the seasonal re-emergence of legends and local lore, namely the possibly spooky stories that can be found in every community’s history. Though not quite as spine-chilling as the ghost walks featured closer to Halloween time, the Newton Township Cemetery Association hosted a cemetery walk this past weekend at the hallowed grounds on North Canal Street. Visitors were invited to take a self-guided tour through the land which had its first burial two hundred years ago in 1813 and now serves as the resting place for veterans from several wars as well as some of the town’s notable founding fathers or other influential members of the early days of Newton Falls.

Not quite as old as the Revolutionary War, but following in the sneaker-clad footsteps of the Kiwanis Run/Walk and also celebrating a 24-year tradition, the annual Chili Cook Off will open up the month of October. This year the yummy event will take place on Saturday, October 5th and registration for cookers and vendors is already in full swing. Sponsored by the Newton Falls Firefighters’ Auxiliary, all proceeds from this festival of all things chili will benefit the town’s fire department, Station 43, which opened a second station just about a year ago. Cooking starts at 11am with activities for the public at 1pm and Chili Cups will be sold after the official judging at 3:45pm.

One yearly activity that will unfortunately not be on the calendar this year is the pumpkin painting party presented by the Optimist Club of Newton Falls which has been a kid-favorite for a dozen years. It has been reported that the group unfortunately disbanded in January after many years of promoting positivity in the community. Their smiling influence and their efforts to make a difference for the children of the town will be missed!

Next up on the schedule, the last Saturday of October is Make a Difference Day. Celebrate how one person or a group can greatly impact a community by doing good on October 26th.  This national event started over twenty years ago (locally just over a decade) and features many opportunities for lending a hand. In Newton Falls, projects have usually involved cleaning up the parks and helping to beautify the areas that everyone can enjoy. Look for more details coming soon! In the meantime, if you have an individual project in mind as a way to contribute to the day, take a minute to register it online at www.ServeOhio.org and read up on ways to earn mini-grants or awards for your efforts (as if the warm fuzzy feeling one gets from helping others isn’t wonderful enough!) or learn about what others are doing for ideas. Involvement doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate – doing some weeding in a park or spending time with an animal at the rescue shelter will do more good than one knows. Truly stumped for ideas on how to help or looking to expand your helping-hands skill set? A quick online search delivers literally thousands of drops of inspiration. If you’d prefer not to talk to a robot, ask a member of a service organization such as the Scouts or Kiwanis, or stop by your local library. They’d be glad to help!

Last but certainly not least, wrapping up October, there will be plenty of opportunities to unwrap candy as Halloween makes its chocolate-covered mark on the faces of the area’s little goblins on the 31st. This year the holiday falls on a Thursday, which is traditionally when Newton Falls has held its Trick or Treat (5-6:30pm) and coordinating Kiwanis Cake Walk at 7pm. Look for the exact dates and times closer to this year’s festivities. It’s no better time than now to start thinking of those  potential costume options – like fall itself, which apparently snuck up on us like those things that go bump in the night, All Hallows’ Eve will be here before we know it!

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In addition to her role as a contributing reporter for the Weekly Villager, Mialie T. Szymanski is the creator of the bi-weekly column “Puppy Tails”. This children’s story time column stars Doodle Dog, a floppy-eared puppy who has an optimistic perspective of the world around him. Szymanski's picture book “Doodle Dog Enjoys the Day” chronicles a day in the life of this “paws”itive pup. The upcoming read-aloud anthology “Puppy Tails: Adventures of Doodle Dog” is a collection of the columns and illustrations as seen in The Weekly Villager over the last year.