BETHEL – The eighth annual Bethel Harvest Fest and Chowdah Cook-off will be held on Sept. 16 and 17 and a guided scenic bike ride will take place on Sunday morning, Sept. 18.

A line-up of informative tours and open houses are open to all on Friday. From 9:30 to 11 a.m., folks can stop at Maine Line Products’ Greenwood store to see how they create their Maine gift baskets and fudge.

From 9 to 11 a.m., all are invited to visit the Maine Chair Kit Co., a division of Bethel Furniture, which will have new products on display. At 11, those curious about local forest management are invited to the Chadbourne Tree Farms Philbrook Lot, Route 2, for an hour tour.

Hancock Lumber, Route 26, will offer a one-hour tour at 1 p.m. Those wishing to attend are encouraged to park next to the railroad tracks in the designated lot. At 3 p.m., the owners of Timberlake’s Home Store on the Mayville Road will host an open studio, explaining the process of making the Shaker Furniture and other wood products. They will also have a raffle for a dinner for two at the Rooster’s Roadhouse.

From 5 to 6:30 p.m., all are invited to the Rooster’s Roadhouse for a wine and cheese reception and the drawing of the dinner for two.

Scarecrows will decorate area residences, businesses and gateways. The scarecrow theme is “Happy Trails.”

The Harvest Fest on to the Bethel Common will get under way when the arts and crafts festival opens at 9 a.m. More than 40 crafters and farmers are expected to fill the common.

At 11:30, the chamber will begin to sell tickets for the Chowdah Cook-off. The third annual Apple Pie Contest will have three categories: amateur traditional crust pie, amateur non-traditional crust pie and professional pie. Gift certificates will be awarded to the winner in each category.

“The Jazz Guys” will play at the gazebo from 11 a.m. through the mid-afternoon. Free horse-drawn wagon rides through Bethel Village will be provided from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Smokey the Bear will visit the common and chainsaw carving will be held.

The scenic bicycle tour, led by Dillon Gillies, will be held Sunday morning. Participants can choose between a 10-mile tour and a longer ride of up to 25 miles. Plan to meet at the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce office at 9 a.m. for beverages and snacks before cycling.

For more information, contact the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce at 824-2282.

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