Games, crafts, culture and family fun at Yates Mill harvest fest

Do you love cornmeal? Historic trades? Handmade crafts? Traditional music and games? Then come out to this year’s Fall Harvest Celebration at Historic Yates Mill County Park!

Harvest Festival friends

It's a little corny but a lot of fun at the Fall Harvest Festival at Yates Mill!

The annual autumn festival is due to take place on Saturday, Sept. 21, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. That’s also the first day of our monthly corn-grinding weekend at Yates Mill. It’s always a big weekend at the park, with hundreds of guests enjoying free activities including harvest-related demonstrations and hands-on games and crafts for the entire family, plus a variety of community displays, story-tellers and more.

The park staff has also rounded up a display of vintage cars and tractors, and we’ll have live bluegrass music with harvest-time songs and dances. Guests can taste foods made from corn and other agricultural products, and NC State University ice cream will be available for sale.

Yates Mill Associates will sell a variety of handmade crafts, accessories, woodworked items and more made by our talented supporters. Be sure to bring cash or a check in case some of these artistic items catch your fancy. And, of course, we’ll have cornmeal, cookbooks, mugs, hats and other merchandise with the Yates Mill Associates logo — and, as ever, all proceeds to toward our efforts to keep the mill open and operating.

As we said, it’s corn-grinding weekend as well. That means Yates Mill, Wake County’s last operating water-powered gristmill, will be open for tours starting at 10 a.m. and ending at 3:40 p.m. (with a lunch break) on Saturday, and from 1 p.m. to 3:40 p.m. on Sunday. Tours are $5 per adult, $4 for seniors (60+), $3 for students aged seven to 16 and free for kids six-and-under.

If you’re interested in setting up a display at the harvest festival that relates to our community’s history, agriculture, environment or the arts, call the park’s program director, Rebeccah, at 919-856-5635 for details. We’d also love to have more volunteers to help — if you’d like be one of them, call volunteer coordinator Jennifer at 919-856-6675. You can reach Rebeccah, Jennifer or any park staff member by email as well, at

For more information on the harvest festival, call Historic Yates Mill County Park at 856-6675 or visit the park’s website.

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