Fall officially begins on Friday, Sept. 22, ushering in a host of fun-filled activities for the entire family. From visiting orchards to attending football games, fall in Indiana is a great time to get out and enjoy events happing throughout our community and state.

Throughout the month of October, Stonycreek Farm will be hosting its 45th Annual Pumpkin Harvest Festival with a u-pick pumpkin patch, hayrides, food, activities for children and harvest goodies. Harvest Festival weekends at the Stuckey Farm Market off of Hamilton Boone Road includes wagon rides, a corn maze, pony rides and an apple cannon. Other pumpkin patches in Hamilton County include Spencer Farm, which also offers red raspberries, u-dig mums and other locally sourced products, and Russell Farms Pumpkin Patch with its corn maze and country store.

On Sept. 23 and Sept. 24, Hamilton County's longest running and largest festival will take place at 105 E. Main St. in Atlanta. The Atlanta New Earth Festival includes over 600 vendors, a kid's zone, art area and steam engines. Musical entertainment ranging from bluegrass, to music from the 70s and worship tunes will also be featured each day. Information can be found online at www.atlantaindiana.com.

Potter's Bridge Park will also be hosting a Fall Festival from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept. 30. This free event features live music, a KidZone, arts and crafts, and food. Conner Prairie's annual Halloween Headless Horseman festival will be Oct. 12-15, 19-22 and 26-29. Visitors can enjoy a haunted hayride, a seven-acre corn maze and trip to the apple store.

Information about these and other events can be found online at www.visithamiltoncounty.com. This is a great site with a lot of resources for locals and visitors alike. From dining options to sleeping accommodations, this online tool is a helpful place to see what is happing in Hamilton County. At www.visithamiltoncounty.com, a free travel guide and trail guide can also be downloaded, or a request can be made to have these guides mailed to your home.

For events happing throughout the state, Visit Indiana is a good resource. At www.visitindiana.com, 40 different brochures can be downloaded or viewed, including the 2017 Indiana Festival Guide and the Agritourism Guide featuring u-pick orchards, Christmas tree farms and fresh food markets.

My legislative e-newsletters also highlight local events. These e-newsletters are a great way for us to connect and for citizens to stay informed about my work in the General Assembly. Please call my office at 317-232-9677, email me at h29@iga.in.gov or visit h29@iga.in.gov to sign up to begin receiving my legislative e-newsletters.

Hopefully, you and your family can explore autumn in Indiana and enjoy everything our community and state offers. From pumpkin patches to festivals and haunted hayrides, there are plenty of opportunities to have fun this fall!

Kathy Kreag Richardson is a Republican State Representative from District 29, which includes Noblesville, and has served in the legislature since 1992. She also is the elections administrator for Hamilton County. You may contact her at h29@in.gov.