State College

Family’s fall festival is a lot more than just pumpkins

Joe Meyer, of State College, opens up the doors of his 1981 DeLorean during the car show Sunday at Wasson Farm Fall Fest off Shingletown Road.
Joe Meyer, of State College, opens up the doors of his 1981 DeLorean during the car show Sunday at Wasson Farm Fall Fest off Shingletown Road.

The shiny silver car was like something out of a movie.

That was kind of the point.

Joe Meyer, of State College, found the perfect piece of the 1980s, a sleek, metallic DeLorean seven years ago. It was the culmination of a childhood dream that all started with Marty McFly’s adventures in the “Back to the Future” series.

“I saw the movie was I was 5. I thought, ‘I have to have that car,’ ” he said.

It took a while, but he made it happen.

It took another five years to get it up and running. Two years later, it made its car show debut Sunday at the Wasson Farm Fall Fest, fully tricked out with movie references like its “FLUX” license plate, a sports almanac, a futuristic copy of USA Today (now a year in the past, but whatever) and Marty’s hoverboard.

Not exactly what you might expect at a harvest event at a farm, but that’s part of what Candy Wasson says makes the family’s events successful.

“Each year, we add something so it’s not the same experience year after year,” she said.

Actually, it’s not the same experience week to week.

The festival takes place over several weekends in October at the family’s farm at 2545 Shingletown Road. There are always the old standbys like hayrides and pumpkin picking, homemade soup and freshly spiced apple butter.

But last week featured a wine walk, something people started asking about after the farm started incorporating local wineries into the festival. This week was the car show, in its third year, featuring vehicles of all eras. Meyer’s Delorean was joined by others like a Corvette, a Studebacher, a historic period military Jeep and a classic restored trucks.

The next theme will be about breast cancer awareness.

This time the vehicle will be Fred Dailey’s bright pink truck. He uses the vehicle to promote awareness of breast cancer’s dangers and its hope. His mother is 83 and first survived the disease about 40 years ago. His sister-in-law is also a survivor. His Dailey’s Lawn Care truck is his way of spreading the message, and events like Wasson’s are his favorite venue.

“It’s a way to connect with the community,” he said.

And it’s a way to connect with his past. His parents used to buy milk from the Wassons back before supermarkets sold it by the gallon.

Wasson says the event has gained in popularity every year for a decade. Sunday’s event was well-attended, with kids munching hot dogs while waiting to go through the corn maze and grown-ups chatting while tasting wine and listening to live music.

It even drew some popular local celebrities. It didn’t take long for people to recognize Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley and safety Troy Apke, fresh off their win over Northwestern, taking in the seasonal fun.

There were also Wassons at every turn. The family has six daughters, the family’s fifth generation taking part in the business.

The sixth generation was also well-represented. One grandson was taking tickets and loading the wagons for the hayride. A granddaughter sold lemonade to raise money for Penn State’s Dance Marathon.

“It’s just a real family event,” Wasson said.

Lori Falce: 814-235-3910, @LoriFalce