Peek n’ Peak Wraps Up Fall Fest

CLYMER – Peek n’ Peak Resort finished up its 29th annual Fall Fest on Sunday, ushering in this year’s unusually warm and bright autumn in full-swing.

Ray Bliley and Seth Eliason manned their pumpkin launcher, blaring a horn before firing pumpkins at a target across the ski slopes as spectators looked on. The duo have shown off their pumpkin launcher at the Fall Fest for six years. They decided they wanted to launch pumpkins 12 years ago while in high school. “I think everybody needs one,” said Eliason.

“We’re just fabricators, we designed it ourselves,” Bliley chimed in.

At noon, Geoff Bach performed his juggling act. At the climax of his performance, Bach was juggling a bowling ball, a machete and a flaming torch. He was able to pull off a total of seven juggled balls, thanks to help from audience participation.

“A lot of people think that juggling is about hand-eye coordination,” said Bach, in the middle of his tricky act. “But it’s actually all about muscle-memory.”

Happi 92.7, the only locally own and operated radio station in Erie County, provided music and atmosphere to the festivities, as well as a selfie-booth for visitors to take cut-out photos of their antics. Happi 92.7 was also raising money for the American Cancer Society.

“Every little bit counts,” said Ryan Maloney, in charge of the station’s presence at the festival. “We’re just happy to be here.”

Peek n’ Peak held a craft beer booth. Its most popular beverages included its Pumpking and Harvest beers.

Business was “pretty good” for Famous Dave’s food vendor, in the words of Brianna Massari. Famous Dave, a restaurant you can find on Peach Street in Erie, Pa., made its appearance for the 5th year in a row at the Fall Fest. Its most popular items included pork, and Mac and Cheese.

K and T Creations, owned and operated by Kellie VanHaverbeke and Thomas Beckwith, had soy candles and wooden kitchen items on sale. This was their first year setting up shop at the Fall Fest, and it proved good for their sales.

Kelly Ormsby and Christy Swan sold Mexican folk art and a variety of jewel art, among other artistic items. “This has been a great day for me financially,” said Ormsby, owner of The Turquoise Terrapin Artisan Jewelry and whose work is featured in the Rockwell Museum in Corning. “It’s been great weather, great clientele and a flow of people.”

Ormsby’s work takes material and inspiration from the American southwest. She has cultivated her artistic practice for 12 years, since 8th grade, and was surprised to find her love has become her career.

Howard Mincone, a character donned in his customary black suit and fedora, put on his own juggling act later that afternoon, which included comedy and serious life lessons for the young viewers.

“Anything in life takes perseverance, a no-quit attitude,” said Mincone.

Mincone has performed at the Peek n’ Peak Fall Fest for 10 years and has been a full-time performer for more than 25 years.

“I consider myself the most blessed guy in the world, because I can do this for a living,” said Mincone.