Emily Hobbs, executive director of the Villages of Van Buren, says the county’s Scenic Drive Festival runs Friday through Sunday.
“The fall colors are starting to show and I believe they’re going to be peaking during our fall festival this weekend and through the week,” Hobbs says. “Definitely come down and you’ll see the changing colors as we transition from the greens to the beautiful fall oranges, reds and yellows.”
Visitors are encouraged to make their way along the Historic Hills Scenic Byway to experience each of the county’s historic villages — for events ranging from arts and crafts shows to quilt shows, as well as parades, tractor displays, and a tour of historic barns. Hobbs says, “There will be yellow signs throughout the county telling you which directions to go to get to all of the different villages that have their own festivities going on.”
In Keosauqua, one local favorite is the Pearson House Museum Complex. “That is actually part of the Underground Railroad,” Hobbs says. “There’s a safe house you can tour, a one-room school, an authentic log cabin and there will be demonstrations there as well.”
There’s an 1846 Mormon encampment site near Milton and the Pioneer Historical Museum in Farmington where visitors can learn about the Honey War. While the region is steeped in history, newcomers will soon notice something else — there are no chain restaurants anywhere and no big box stores throughout the entire county.
“There’s not a single stoplight in the entire county,” Hobbs says. “It’s a very unique experience. We also have a lot of Amish and Mennonites in our area.”
Find more information and a schedule of activities along with a brochure map at the county’s website: www.villagesofvanburen.com