Football games begin, mugs of warm apple cider and hot chocolate are filled, pumpkins are carefully picked and carved, colorful leaves fall to the ground as the Midwest sheds its summer blanket of warmth and prepares for winter months to come.
As the fall season is arriving, millions of people around the nation look forward to pumpkin flavored coffees, Halloween, early holiday shopping, warm sweaters and so much more. Fall is Bettendorf junior Stevi Mulvehill’s favorite season.
“I love watching the leaves change colors before they fall. I also like raking them up with my family. After we’re done and the leaves are in a big mound, we jump in,” Mulvehill said. “Going to Friday night football games with friends is definitely something I look forward to every year, it's a great time.”
Along with Mulvehill, Davenport resident and Florida native Jennifer Ketchum said that fall is her favorite season. Ketchum enjoys the unique foods and specialty drinks that fall brings annually.
“I love pumpkin everything, bonfires, and of course, cozy flannel shirts. Starbucks is a must for me during the season. I usually order a coconut macchiato, or a venti quad coconut milk pumpkin latte,” Ketchum said.
Mulvehill said that she is not much of a coffee drinker. Instead she prefers candy corn, pumpkin pie or pumpkin fluff.
Throughout autumn there are many different festivities that can be enjoyed for those living in, or visiting the Midwest. Some of these include hayrack rides, haunted houses, apple orchards, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, petting zoos, trick or treating, parties, and pumpkin carving.
“I love pumpkin carving and going to the pumpkin patch to find the perfect one. My church throws a fall-themed party every year. People dress up in costumes and there are carnival games set up that everyone plays to win candy. It’s been a tradition ever since I was a kid,” Mulvehill said.
On Oct. 31, Halloween is celebrated by hundreds of thousands across the United States. Many children enjoy trick or treating for candy with friends in their neighborhoods.
“As a kid I was super excited to get all dressed up and go get candy. Now it’s all about my daughter Layla and pretty much celebrating her birthday which is at the end of October. I love being able to spend the holiday with her, our pumpkins may not look very good after we’ve carved them, but we always have fun together,” Ketchum said.
Fall festivities differ throughout the nation. Many children do not have the opportunity to grow up in an area where they are able to pick a pumpkin from a patch, or get temporarily lost in a corn maze. Former resident of California, Hawaii, and Pennsylvania Haley Sue Hinders knows what it’s like to celebrate the season away from the Midwestern traditions.
“There really is nothing like fall in Iowa. It’s so beautiful and fun. Taking a day trip to the pumpkin patch or apple orchard was my favorite thing to do growing up. In Hawaii we celebrated the holiday very differently. In order to buy a pumpkin you had to place an order at the local grocery store, then one would be shipped to you in a few weeks. It is just not the same excitement at all. Some people have fall decorations set up, but most of the people living on the islands have never seen a tree change colors and lose its leaves. The palm tree leaves turn brown and fall off, but there is really nothing pretty to that process,” said Hinders.
The sweater season is fast approaching and festivities will soon begin here in the Quad Cities and throughout the rest of the Midwest.