Autumn is a time of busyness as crops are harvested and everyone is looking ahead to the change of seasons. In celebration of the harvest plentifulness and natural beauty that surrounds this area is the Uff Da Fest celebration. It is a great time of year to be outside taking in the changing colors, feeling the brisk air autumn air, and enjoying a celebration with friends and neighbors.

Bargain hunters can hit the streets of Spring Grove bright and early Friday morning for city-wide garage sales. Find maps to the sales at local area businesses. Starting at noon a show of color will open with the Festival of Quilts Show and Sale at the Fest Building. Admission is by donation. Through-out the day Friday and Saturday there will be demonstrations by Piecemaker Guild members and vendors. A special demonstration on quilt documentation will be Saturday at 3 p.m.

Hungry for a delicious spaghetti dinner? Attend the dinner at the Peanut Gallery at 4:30 p.m. where SMIF-funded entrepreneur groups will be honored. Registered Leve for Farge participants are invited to attend and pick up their fun run packets; new registrations will also be accepted.

Top off the first evening of Uff Da Fest with great music by the Alaska String Band. The band hails from Juneau, Alaska, and tours the lower 48 states and Canada each fall and early winter. Their music consists of American-roots music favorites such as swing, jazz, bluegrass, pop, folk, gospel, Hawaiian, Celtic, and Russian. Tickets are available for $15 presale and $20 at the door.

Saturday is a day full of many activities for people of all ages and interests. City-wide garage sales start the day. Register at the Ballard House for the Ga Pa Tur Nature Walk along the Norwegian Ridge Nature and Birding Trails. Enjoy a stroll through nature while searching for the many flora and bird species which are identified along the trail.

The traditional Norwegian lawn-game of Kubb will be played on the lawn near Trinity Lutheran Church with registration beginning at 8 a.m., rules announced at 9:15 a.m. and play commencing at 9:30 a.m. Adult teams are $25 per team and youth teams are $15 per team. Contact Bill Fried, (507) 381-9293 for more information. Registrations can be dropped off at the Ballard House.

A more traditional American sport will be played at 9:30 a.m. at the football field. Students in grades first through third who have been honing their skills at flag football will participate in the Uff Da Fest Bowl. Following the flag football game and continuing the Uff Da Fest Bowl, will be a Morrie Millie Youth Football game. Concessions will be available for purchase during the games.

One of the most colorful events of Uff Da Fest will take off at 10 a.m. - the Leve for Farge (Live for Color) 5K Fun Run/Walk. Registration and check-in is from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Bluff Country Artists Gallery. At each kilometer along the route there will be a burst of color with a culminating color explosion at the finish. The fun run/walk is a fundraiser for educational programming at the Gallery. Participants are invited to dress in costume individually or as a team.

Take time to stop in at Bluff Country Artists Gallery and check out all of the entrants in the Best of Nature Photography contest. See how the local talent captured the beauty of nature.

The Festival of Quilts opens at 9 a.m. with guest speaker, Sandi Irish at 10 a.m. She has been quilting for more than 23 years, teaching and working in quilt shops as well as designing quilts. She began her own pattern company, Irish Chain, in 2003.

The Ballard House will be open all day with genealogy experts on-hand for anyone with questions about how to go about learning more about their family history. Various oral histories will be shown on the screens throughout the building. Take a moment to stop in and also check out the new large outdoor murals in honor of the late Norwegian artist Sigmund Arseth.

Local author, Elaine Hegg will also be at the Ballard House from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. with her hot-off-the-presses book, "Death in a One-room Country School." This book tells the story of the 1920s murder of Inga Magnussen, a school teacher in a country school near Bee. Sons of Norway will be there, too, with all of their delicious home-made Norwegian treats like rommegrot, lefse, krumkake, and more!

Kids will be able to play games at Viking Memorial Park from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Syttende Mai royalty will be hosting the game fun! While the kids play, the adults can listen to live entertainment - Mike McAbee right in the park as well! Or they can check out the Norwegian folklore and songs by Inger Lien and Kari Tauring. They will be in a tent in the park. Lien is from Norway and visiting the U.S. studying folk music.

The grand drawing for the $4,444 Spring Grove Dollars Giveaway will be at 2 p.m. There will be a chance to register one last time in the park; 10 additional qualifiers will be drawn! Another great drawing will take place at 6 p.m. at Norskis - the Spring Grove Lions Club truck drawing! Tickets are still available from Lions members.

Throughout the day delicious food options will be available at local restaurants plus the Spring Grove Athletic Boosters will be serving pork burgers in Viking Memorial Park from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. For dessert, the Dollars For Scholars are selling homemade apple pies in the Syttende Mai Hus from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.! The pies are available whole or by the slice a-la-mode. A small, informal farmers market will also be at the park.

Saturday evening has a variety of entertainment available. Many will be turning their eyes toward the heavens during the Star Gazing party with local astronomer Dean Johnson. Telescopes will be set up south of town at the Flatin hayfield from 7 to 11p.m. Watch for signs directing gazers to the viewing site.

Musical entertainment begins at 4 p.m. at Norski's with the band American Standard - acoustic rock with Mark Hagen and Chris Malone. Following them at 8 p.m. at Norski's is Simple Rogues, Celtic and folk music. There will also be "UffDa" drink specials. The American Legion will also have special entertainment from 8:30p.m. until midnight - DJ Dewey.

Uff Da Fest is a celebration of autumn and the beauty of this little corner of southeast Minnesota where Spring Grove is nestled. While in town, take a stroll down Main Street and see the progression of the road construction which is nearing its end soon. For more details about times and registrations for Uff Da Fest events, visit the website, www.uffdafest.com.