Move over pumpkin spice craze — there's a new flavor and scent in town: turnip spice and its kissing cousin, rutabaga spice.

Crickets.

You can't be serious, Tammy.

Put your scrunched-up nose back into place and hear me out. I wrote that for shock value, but if history had been written differently it might have turned out that way.

Imagine walking up to your favorite barista and ordering the seasonal favorite, a tall turnip spice latte with extra whipped cream, please. Or better yet, a dark roast with two pumps of rutabaga spice, and a splash of almond milk.

Blech.

Pumpkins are very much a part of the autumn ambiance and very much American, but it was the Irish immigrants who brought the tradition of carving root vegetables to America. Taking a knife to a turnip on All Hallow's Eve dates back several hundred years, to ancient Celtic customs and traditions, according to various websites. Turnips or rutabagas were carved out and an ember was placed inside to keep evil spirits away.

When the immigrants came to America, they soon discovered that the hollow, softer pumpkins were much easier to carve. And they made really good pie. And candle scents and Cheerios, cookies, and M&Ms and marshmallows and, oh yeah, coffee drinks.

Large please, extra whipped cream.

The Grand Junction Golden K Kiwanis Club will have its annual chili supper from  5–7 p.m. Friday, at Redlands Middle School, 2200 Broadway.

Proceeds will go to organizations in the Grand Valley that help children, with a portion going to the club's toy project. The club makes and distributes thousands of wooden toys to kids in difficult situations, both locally and abroad.

The Veterans Art Center will host a Pig and Poutine fundraiser from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday at the Eagles Aerie 595, 1674 U.S. Highway 50.

Along with the pig roast and poutine for sale, there will be live music by No Outlet, a silent auction and raffle.

Go to facebook.com/VeteransArtCenter for information.

In the worldwide effort to advance literacy, Altrusa International of Palisade Inc. will host its annual Make a Difference Day Book Exchange from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Saturday in the Town Plaza at Third and Main streets in Palisade.

The public is invited to browse and select from hundreds of books including adult and children's books, hardback and paperback. Take as many as you can carry away for free.

This year, Altrusa International has requested that the clubs join together and collect items to send to deployed service members. The Palisade organization is seeking to collect several boxes of paperbacks and invites the public to bring any items you would like to add to the boxes. Donations to the postage fund are also appreciated.

To donate books to the exchange, bring them to the Plaza the morning of the event or call 464-5021.

The Pastel Society of Colorado will meet from 1–3 p.m. Saturday at the Bray Education Center, 640 Belford Ave.

Featured will be Lorenzo Chavez of Parker, who specializes in painting the color, light and terrain of the American West. Chavez has participated in numerous national exhibitions and has received many awards for his luminous work in both oil and pastel, a news release said.

He is represented in six different galleries in the United States, and some consider him to be the American West's premier pastel artist, the release said.

The meeting is free and open to the public. Go to pastelsocietyofcolorado.org for information.

Navajo tapestry weaver Lynda Teller Pete is the guest speaker at Monday's meeting of the Grand Junction Chapter, Colorado Archeological Society.

Pete was born into the Tábaahá (Water Edge Clan) and was raised in Newcomb, New Mexico, where her father worked for more than 35 years as a trader for Two Grey Hills Trading Post. Her mother demonstrated weaving and attracted a constant flow of tourists. Weaving was viewed as a "way of life" and Pete processed wool, spun fine tapestry weight wool weft and practiced the art of weaving and designing.

The award-winning weaver and author collaborates with museums, schools, guilds and other art venues to educate the public about Navajo weaving, the history, and the current state of marketing and the preservation of weaving traditions.

The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. at Redlands United Methodist Church, 527 Village Way.

Go to meetup.com/CAS-GJ for information.

The Walk For Freedom will be from 9:30 am–noon Saturday at Lincoln Park.

A21.org says the purpose of the global walk is to raise funds and awareness of the issue of human trafficking.

"We believe that every step we take locally leaves footprints globally. Every dollar fundraised, every poster seen, every person made aware of the issue of human trafficking, add up to one Global impact — a world where everyone is free," the website says.

Go to the website for information and to register or email im4given77@yahoo.com.

The monthly meeting of Heartbeat, Survivors of Suicide Loss will be from 7–9 p.m. Tuesday at First Congregational Church, 1425 N. Fifth St.

The group meets the third Tuesday of each month, offering support for those who have lost a loved one through suicide.

"Heartbeat was organized to help survivors to absorb the impact of the self-inflicted death; to offer comfort, understanding and acceptance; and to support each other toward healthy resolution to the grief," according to the GJSentinel.com online calendar posting.

Email heartbeatgj@gmail.com or call 778-9274 for information.

An AARP Smart Driver Course is planned for 1–5 p.m. on Wednesday at Colorado Christian University, 2452 Patterson Road.

Call 303-241-3414 or go to aarpdriversafety.org to register.

Submit Your Town and community news items by email to communitynews@gjsentinel.com, by fax at 244-8578, or by mail to 734 S. Seventh St., Grand Junction, CO, 81501. Online calendar items can be uploaded at GJSentinel.com/calendar.

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