The Durango Cowboy Gathering is one of the oldest get-togethers of cowboy poets and musicians. This year's fest, Oct. 6 to 8, features humorist Baxter Black, plus some familiar and newfound talents performing contemporary and classic cowboy songs and poems. The motorless parade on Main Avenue is a promenade of wagons, coaches and carriages. Contact the Durango Cowboy Gathering, P.O. Box 2571, Durango, CO 81302; tel. (970) 259-2165, Internet http://
At Chowderfest, Oct. 7 to 9 at Mystic Seaport, visitors can sample different recipes for the classic New England soup. Local experts will demonstrate how to make an authentic 19th century chowder. Live entertainment includes a concert of sea chanteys and folk music. Other traditional fall foods for sale include apple fritters and apple cider. Mystic Seaport is a maritime museum. Contact Mystic Seaport, P.O. Box 6000, Mystic, CT 06355; telephone (888) 973-2767.
The third annual Florida Birding Festival and Nature Expo, Oct. 5 to 8 in the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area, is scheduled to coincide with the fall migration. The event features workshops, seminars, a butterfly tent and trips to nearby Shell Key, Ft. De Soto Park and Honeymoon Island. Contact the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, 14450 46th St. N., No. 108, Clearwater, FL 33762; tel. (800) 822-6461.
Natchitoches Parish is a virtual outdoor museum of colonial and antebellum architecture. At the 46th annual Historic Natchitoches (pronounced Nak-a-dish) Pilgrimage, Oct. 13 to 15, visitors can tour 14 homes ranging from Creole cottages of the 1700s to pre-Civil War plantation mansions and Victorian homes, as well as meet homeowners and plantation interpreters. Separate tours feature several homes each and are reached by car. Advance tickets are recommended. Contact the Natchitoches Parish Tourist Commission, Box 2248, Natchitoches, LA 71457; tel. (800) 259-1714.
During October, Old Sturbridge Village plans several events that focus on the harvest season. On Oct. 7, visitors can taste heirloom apples at the peak of the apple harvest season. On Oct. 14, talk with cooks in the village's kitchens about early American food preservation, cheese-making and brick-oven baking. On Oct. 21 and 22, help farmers dig potatoes, husk corn, harvest vegetables and thresh oats--all using early 19th century tools and techniques. For more information, contact Old Sturbridge Village, 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA 01566; tel. (508) 347-3362, Internet http://www.osv.org.
Events appears monthly.