Written by Beth Exley

Anyone who has grown up anywhere near Clarion, PA knows that the beginning of fall never happens without the Autumn Leaf Festival. This year marks the 66th Annual celebration themed “An American Autumn” and is sponsored by Allegheny Toyota. The festival runs from September 28 until October 6, 2019.

If you are not from this area, let me explain. Autumn Leaf Festival or “ALF” as locals call it, is a 9-day, internationally award-winning festival that attracts over 500,000 people to the Clarion area. It coincides with the Clarion University homecoming.

Events and entertainment include carnival rides and amusements, the Miss Junior and Miss Teen ALF Scholarship program, the Autorama Cruise-in, the renowned Tournament of Leaves Parade, the Antique Tractor Show, Clarion University Cultural Nights, and the very popular Farmers and Crafters Day.

In addition to the major events sponsored by the Clarion Area Chamber, many local organizations also sponsor 40 or more additional events during the festival. I would like to take a minute to highlight just a few of the lesser known events that I feel might pique your interest.
Foodstock- The Clarion County Community Bank “Foodstock” is an annual county-wide food drive that benefits all Clarion County Food Banks. Non-perishable, non-expired food items will be collected thought September 2019 and during the Autumn Leaf Festival. For more information on this event, contact [email protected] Perhaps you can help someone less fortunate on your way to another event.

Kiddies Parade- The Women’s Healthcare of Clarion and Healthy Beginnings Pediatrics Kiddies Parade is held on Tuesday, October 1, at 615pm. Kids of all ages parade down Main Street. People attend and walk through the parade route in costume and enjoy the comradery of the parade participants and parade watchers.

PA State Old Time Fiddlers’ Contest- This popular competition, sponsored by S&T Bank, will have you tapping your toes to the music. The competition features fiddlers, guitars, banjos, and mandolins. The event takes place Saturday, September 28 at 11am at the First United Methodist Church on Wood Street.

Junior Olympics- This event, sponsored by PNC Bank, takes place on Saturday, October 6 from 1:30 pm – 3:30pm at the Clarion University Memorial Stadium. The event invites children between the ages of 5 and 12, who live or attend school in Clarion County to go for the gold! For more information, contact [email protected]

For more information on events happening during the Autumn Leaf Festival, go to VisitPAGO.com/events.

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