On-Site Events

Labor Day Weekend Highlights

Labor Day weekend brings the last long weekend of summer (August 29-September 1) so celebrate with some special fun at the following preserves:

Cultus Lake (BC) will host a carnival on Saturday, August 30, that will include all kinds of fun and games such as egg/spoon races and bouncy tents. Take part in the last fishing tournament of the season at Idyllwild (CA) and also enjoy a special meal at the Pine Cone Café.

Lake of the Springs (CA) is also offering a last opportunity to catch the big one at the Kids Fishing Derby. There will also be a BBQ, a Teen Dance, and a Family Dance. Enter your four-legged friends into Pacific City’s (OR) Pet Show and share their talents during the preserves Labor Day Weekend/Lazy Dog Days of Summer event.

Enjoy the Local Culture

Learn all about the people who settled the area around the Russian River (CA) preserve during their "Indigenous People" event on September 20.

If you’ve never been to a clambake, here’s your chance! Come to Moody Beach (ME) September 26 and enjoy their second annual Twin Lobster and Clambake, complete with homemade clam chowder, steamed clams and mussels, and all the sides for just $25 per couple.

Yosemite Lakes (CA) invites you to be a part of "49ers Day" and attend the free Umpteenth Annual 49er Festival that takes you back to the days of the Gold Rush. The rich history of Bear Cave (MI) will be revealed during the preserve’s history weekend, scheduled for September 26-27. There will be free cave tours for overnight campers, canoeing lessons, Native American crafts, and plenty of food.

Foodie Fun

It’s Blackberry Harvest and Chehalis (WA) invites you to join in the fun as they pick some berries, host a Blackberry Potluck, and challenge you to bring your best berry recipe for the "Berry Best" judging. These berry special events are scheduled for August29 - September 1.

Are you the master of your own grill? Show off your grilling talents at Orlando’s (FL) Grill Masters Contest, scheduled for August 30 - September 2. The preserves will provide the sides to pair up with the grill teams’ creations.

Finger lickin’ fun is on the menu at San Benito’s (CA) Rib Cook-Off, scheduled for the weekend of August 30-September 1. Who’s got the best ribs in San Benito County? You’ll find out at this great event.

Got a sweet tooth? Bring your favorite dessert and recipe to be judged (and shared) during Lake Tawakoni’s (TX) Bake-Off scheduled for September 6.

Meet and greet your camping friends over bowls of piping hot chili at Bay Landing’s (TX) "Chili Cook-Off Time," scheduled for September 26-28. Prizes for the best chili will be awarded so bring your pot of chili and see if you’re a winner.

RC Boat Races

They do it for fun. The do it for camaraderie. And, they do it for the thrill of winning.

What do they do, you ask?

They race their model boats! The Folsom RC Modeleers, local members of North American Model Boat Association (NAMBA) will hold their races at Lake Minden Preserve (CA) four times in September. Members race both gas and nitro boats, some which reach up to 70 miles per hour in speed. So come with your cameras and be ready to experience these beautiful boats as they zoom around the lake at Lake Minden. Dates are September 6, 7, 20 and 21. Also, mark your calendars for 2015 – Lake Minden has been selected to host the 2015 NAMBA Nationals from July 11-18. This event promises to bring in over 350 racers from across North America, some coming from as far away as Australia, Taiwan and Japan.

Honoring Grandma and Grandpa

Did you know that National Grandparents Day has an official song? Recognized nationally since 1978, the first Sunday after Labor Day each September is set aside to honor Grandpa and Grandma. Several of our preserves have events scheduled to celebrate this day. Check out to hear the song and learn the lyrics, just in case the festivities include a sign-along!

Here’s a list of the preserves that have events planned during the weekend of September 5-7:
Green Mountain (NC)
Lake Gaston (NC)
Lake Minden (CA)
La Conner (WA)
Medina Lake (TX)
Moody Beach (ME)
Rondout Valley (NY)
Scotrun (PA)
Sturbridge (MA)
Thunderbird (WA)

Falling into Fall

September 23 is the official date that marks the change of the season from summer to fall. Our preserves have planned events to welcome the new season and have you fall in love with fall.

Horseshoe Lakes (IN) has two weekends devoted to the onset of autumn. Their Fall Weekend, scheduled for September 5-7, includes a scavenger hunt while their Harvest at the Park Weekend, set for September 12-14, includes a gourd craft for the adults.

Lake Conroe (TX) celebrates fall, and our members, on Saturday, September 20. Scavenger hunts are on the agenda for this fun day.

Palm Springs (CA) will host their Autumn in Palm Springs weekend September 26-27 and invite you to enjoy the beautiful desert weather as well as an autumn craft that’s guaranteed fun for everyone.

Fall means harvest time for apples and Chesapeake Bay (VA) has plans for this crispy fruit at their Apple Cook-Off, scheduled for the weekend of September 26-28.

Lake Minden’s (CA) Falling into Fun Weekend includes a fall soup potluck, a fall-themed jewelry class and a recipe sharing event for fall harvest foods. All this fall fun is set for September 26-28.

Natchez Trace (TN) is hosting a Fall Ball the weekend of September 26-28. Other fall festivities include hayrides, pumpkin carving, and scarecrow making.

Pine Country (IL) hosts a Fall Fest September 26-28, which includes all things fall, like caramel apples, scarecrows, and pumpkin fun including a Pumpkin Chuck-In and a Pumpkin Catapult.

Best in Bluegrass

The 8th Annual Bluegrass by the Bay will be held at Chesapeake Bay (VA) September 18-20. Enjoy two full days of bluegrass music and field picking at this event that also features food and craft vendors. Make your reservations early – this event just gets better and better every year!

Are you ready for some football?

We’re changing gears from bats and balls to the gridiron. Come cheer for your favorite team at these preserve football-focused events.

This season’s first NFL game is set for Thursday, September 4, and Pio Pico (CA) invites guests to watch the kickoff action on the preserve’s big screen.

Football season means tailgating time and with chants of "Go Blue," Bear Cave (MI) is throwing a Tailgate Weekend September 5-7. The roster of fun includes a Favorite Fan contest, flag football games and the chance to watch some college football outdoors on the big screen.

Timothy Lake North & South (PA) will host a Fantasy Football Kickoff Weekend September 5-7 that includes a Wing-Off to determine who makes the hottest wings around.

Show off your own football skills at Lake Texoma (TX) on September 6 as the preserve hosts its "Football Season Kickoff" weekend.

Show your team spirit by sporting your favorite jersey and enjoying "Football by the Fire Weekend" at Gateway to Cape Cod (MA) the weekend of September 12-14.

It’s a Football Frenzy the weekend of September 12-14 at Moody Beach (ME) when they offer free snacks and treats while you settle in to watch college football on Saturday and pro games on Sunday, all on the big screen.

Natchez Trace (TN) gets into the huddle with a Football Fanatics Weekends September 19-21. Contests include Kickoff and Most Team Spirit and there will be a Tailgate Party, as well.

Local Events

Palm Springs (CA)

Thursdays in September
Palm Springs Village Fest

Every Thursday evening, from 7 to 10 p.m., downtown Palm Springs transforms into a street fair with a diverse array of artists, artisans, entertainers and purveyors of fresh fruits and veggies, flowers, jewelry, snacks, and treats. Event is held on Palm Canyon Drive, just 10 miles from the preserve. For information visit or call (760) 320-3781.

Bay Landing (TX)

Fridays and Saturdays in September
Live Bull Riding at Billy Bobs

Come and watch pro riders ride live bulls at Billy Bob’s Texas, the first and largest nightclub in the US to have live bull riding. Admission is $3 and riding events are scheduled for 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. Billy Bob’s is just 45 minutes from the preserve. For more information visit

Palm Springs (CA)

Saturdays and Sundays in September
College of the Desert Street Fair

This is an open-air market with hundreds of items and unique gifts. There are endless rows of family fun and entertainment. The Street Fair is located on the beautiful campus of College of the Desert, just five miles from the preserve. There is free admission, parking, and shuttle service. For information call (760) 772-7078 or visit

Idyllwild (CA)

August 30-September 1
Idyllwild’s Art and Treasure Weekend

This unique, community-wide event, that includes live music, allows visitors to watch artists create original art in various locations throughout the town. For more information visit or call (877) 439-5278. Event is just three miles from the preserve.

South Jetty (OR)

September 5-7
Rods 'n Rhodies

Hundreds of visitors fill the streets of Old Town Florence to view the hot rods and custom cars that are part of this annual Invitational Car Show.

Ponderosa (CA)

September 12-14
8th Annual American River Music Festival

Bringing you the finest in roots music, this festival will present over 25 performances in 10 locations throughout the friendly river town, including riverfront main stage at Henningsen-Lotus Park. Enjoy fun kids’ activities, cool art vendors, live art, music jams, dancing, a Friday night showcase, food and beverages, and more. Depending on the venue, events are less than three miles from the preserve. For information visit

Idyllwild (CA)

September 13
Historic Home Tour

Tour distinctive mountain homes showcasing the diversity of the homes in the area. Tickets are $20 per person. Visit for more details. Event is just three miles from the preserve.

Lynchburg (VA)

September 13
Shrimp and Wine Festival

Held at the San Soucy Vineyards, just 15 miles from the preserve, this event features plenty of shrimp dishes to savor including Coconut Shrimp, Shrimp Bisque, and Shrimp Po-Boys. There will also be burgers and BBQ for the non-shrimpers. Live music and Virginia beers and wines are also part of the event offerings. Event hours are 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. For information call (434) 376-9463 or visit

Orlando (FL)

September 14
Iron Girl Triathlon

Join the Iron Girl Team for an unsurpassed premier event! Set on the beautiful grounds of Waterfront Park, this event will feature sprint and super sprint courses, as well as a 5K. Waterfront Park is just 15 miles from the preserve. For more information visit

Diamond Caverns (KY)

September 16-21
Kentucky Bourbon Festival

Since 1776, the people of Bardstown, Kentucky, have been making bourbon. Their dedication to the fine art of distilling eventually gave Bardstown the title of Bourbon Capital of the World. Come celebrate this passion and history at The Kentucky Bourbon Festival featuring six days of smooth bourbon, delicious food, and great entertainment, with a healthy dose of Kentucky hospitality thrown in for good measure. From black tie galas to historical tours, there is something for all ages and interests. It’s a wonderful six-day event full of activities for the whole family. Event is held approximately 70 miles from the preserve. For more information visit

Lynchburg (VA)

September 20
Lynchburg Beer & Wine Festival

This event will feature over 16 area wineries, plus breweries from around the state and beyond with craft ales and lagers on tap, and over 96 different varieties to sample and purchase. There will also be artisans and crafters and area businesses presenting new products, as well as live music and food vendors. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Event is held at the Lynchburg City Stadium, just 15 miles from the preserve. For more information call (434) 473-7319 or visit

Scotrun (PA)

September 20-21
Rodeo and Chili Cook-Off

Enjoy professional rodeo events and a chili cook-off with audience participation at Shawnee Mountain, just 20 minutes from the preserve. For information visit or call (570) 421-7231.

Peace River (FL)

September 21
Friday Night Live

Main Street Wauchula will be bustling as people relive the 1980s! A live band, Pushin’ Eightiez, will play tunes from the decade and local businesses will stay open late for shopping and dining. Don’t miss the lip sync event! Main Street is just five minutes from the preserve. Hours are 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Medina Lake (TX)

September 27
Cajun Festival and Great Gumbo Cook-Off

Held at the Lakehills Civic Center, this is a celebration of everything Cajun! Enjoy live Cajun and Zydeco music on two stages, plus homemade Cajun food, dancing, art and crafts, and games. Sample some gumbo at the Great Gumbo Cook-Off! Event hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Lakehills Civic Center is located less than 2 miles from the preserve.