Pine Cone Festival at Rim Nordic

The mountain-fun party celebrates one of the woodiest sights of the season. Plus: There's a new mascot, oh yeah.

IF YOU ADORE PINE CONES... you A) live among the branches of a majestic fir, swishing your fluffy tail as you dine upon various nuts and seeds or B) you live on terra firma but find yourself entranced by these fantastically shaped gifts from the tree limbs above. Pine cones are a common sight in the forest, both up high and at our feet, but their beauty remains uncommon, often painted, often pondered, and a perennially popular theme in woodsy crafts. To celebrate this scale-laden wonder of the woods is to celebrate nature and its bounty, full stop. And even if you're not up on all of your cone-centered facts, like being able to tell a female cone from a male cone, you can still find autumnal joy in a festival that has a forest-y, cone-spotlighting theme. There is such a festival, near Running Springs, and it is ready to branch out, with fun, live tunes, and activities, on Saturday, Oct. 14. It's the...

PINE CONE FESTIVAL, and the day out at Rim Nordic will include a host of happenings, like the Pine Cone Craft Contest, the World's Largest Pine Cone Contest, and the Pine Cone Olympics. As for that "World's Largest" showdown, you'll want to show with your Sugar or Coulter, for the Longest Sugar Pine Cone and the Biggest Coulter Pine Cone are two of the competitive categories. (The record for the Longest Sugar is 23 1/4" inches while the Biggest Coulter weighed in at five pounds, two ounces.) There's a furry new mascot, too, that fans have been attempting to name in the weeks ahead of the October mountain-merry party. Feeling your forest-based longings revving up? Dig a nostalgic pine cone craft? Make a date with Rim Nordic on the second Saturday in October.

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