The fifth annual Blackbird Creek Fall Festival will be held Oct. 20 with free family fun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For its fifth year, the Blackbird Creek Fall Festival will give local residents a look into Delaware's rich cultural history and a chance to enjoy the fall foliage and outdoors.

On Oct. 20, the free event will feature family activities, live music, hayrides, crafts, vendors and more – all next to the Blackbird Creek on the reserve near Townsend.

"It's really getting outdoors with your family in the fall to have a whole lot of fun," said Kim Cole, manager of the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve.

The festival will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. that Saturday and there will be a 5K Run/ Fun Walk beginning at 9 a.m.

One of the new features, Cole said, will be the time chef who will be doing period cooking demonstrations.

The chef will be showcasing Native American recipes, she said.

On stage, Crabmeat Thompson and the Bog Turtle Band will perform live.

"Bring a blanket and some chairs and join us for the day," said Jennifer Holmes, festival coordinator.

Hayrides, hay mazes, and face painting will also be free.

There will be educational opportunities too where attendees can learn how to cast a fishing line and learn about tides.

"The purpose is to encourage stewardship of the Delaware Bay Shore by celebrating the richness of Delaware's cultural traditions," Cole said.

Kayaks and canoes will be on hand to sit in and to teach about safety. They will not be cast off because of the tides.

The Blackbird Creek Reserve is one of 28 National Estuarine Research Reserves that protects more than 1.3 million acres of coastal and estuarine habitats across the country, Cole said.

There will be guided hikes through the reserve and restoration areas Oct. 20 to showcase where volunteers have helped plant trees as a part of a reforestation effort.

Free crafts available to the public will include hand made jewelry and animal soaps.

The first Blackbird Creek Fall Festival was held in 2007 as a way to celebrate the reserve's newest acquisition.

Cole said that more than 850 people came out last year, and that each year the event continues to grow.

The 5K, which will be in its third year, will raise money for the Appoquinimink River Association.

Delaware is home to two of these reserves, Blackbird Creek and St. Jones in Dover.

If you go

What Blackbird Creek Fall Festival

When Saturday, Oct. 20

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

5K Race/ Fun Run begins at 9 a.m.

Where Blackbird Creek Reserve

801 Blackbird Landing Road, Townsend, Del.

For more information search DNERR on Facebook