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Filoli festival celebrates autumn

From pumpkins and puppets to barbecue and bubbles, event is a feast for the eyes and palate

Heirloom fruit tasting, nature hikes, orchard tours, flower-arranging demonstrations, and a barbecue lunch drew hundreds of visitors to the annual Autumn at Filoli Festival on Saturday, Sept. 28, at the historic estate in Woodside.

Children visited the pumpkin patch, applauded the puppet and magic shows, and marveled at the Bubblesmith making giant bubbles.

Visitors tasted rare pears, apples and grapes from Filoli's Gentlemen's Orchard containing more than 650 varieties of heirloom fruit. They sampled cider from the estate's apple cider press and strolled gardens still at their peak of beauty.

In the weeks before the family-friendly festival, the Filoli staff was busy harvesting fruit to be sampled and preparing the gardens for the winter months to come.

Each season at Filoli has its own rhythm. The autumn festival was the last large public event at the Woodside estate until Holiday Traditions, which will be held from Nov. 29 to Dec. 7. This annual fundraiser is a week-long extravaganza of boutiques, teas, luncheons, and parties, involving hundreds of volunteers and drawing thousands of visitors. After Holiday Traditions ends, Filoli will be closed until its early spring opening in 2014.

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