A new Martha’s Vineyard festival made its debut Saturday at Thimble Farm in Oak Bluffs, where the nonprofit Island Grown Initiative hosted a fall fest at its Farm Hub greenhouses and gardens.

“It’s our first public hoe-down,” said Randi Baird, a co-founder of Island Grown in 2006 who is now president of the board.

About 320 people — many of them small children, and more than a few in costume — turned out for the four-hour celebration of farming and local food. Festival-goers began arriving some 15 minutes before the scheduled start time of 10 a.m., said Island Grown executive director Rebecca Haag, and they were still arriving at 1:45 p.m. as the party was winding down.

Jamie O'Gorman (far right) operates the cider press. — Mark Alan Lovewell

Outside the building, families played games such as pumpkin tic-tac-toe and gourd checkers, visited with farm animals in portable pens and took part in activities like face painting, pressing apples into cider and felting sheep’s wool. A multi-generational fiddle group performed Celtic music from the Island Grown Mobile Market, a truck with a drop-down stage that doubles as a grocery stand when the market is doing business.

Inside the Farm Hub, small children darted gleefully through the usually-quiet greenhouses, pursued by parental cries of “No running, you guys!” and “Let’s go see the sheep!”

Youngsters seemed particularly fascinated by the hydroponic facilities, gazing into the fish tanks and shouting in excitement when they spotted the trout that help fertilize herbs, strawberries, greens and other greenhouse crops year-round.

Enjoying the sheep at the Farm Hub. — Mark Alan Lovewell

“The kids have just had a great time,” said a beaming Ms. Haag.

There was plenty to keep adults interested as well, including workshops on saving seeds and building a fire pit, and cider-making demonstrations that concluded with a taste of the freshly-pressed cider.

“It’s something that anybody can do,” said Adam Petkus, who brought his own cider press to operate alongside the Farm Hub’s press. “You can make it as simple as you want, or as complicated as you want.”

Islanders with apple trees at home were invited to sign up to use the Farm Hub press for making their own cider.

The festival also had free popcorn for families and a lunch counter with vegetable wrap sandwiches made by Island Grown’s recently-hired Harvest of the Month chef, Gabrielle Chronister.

Opening the Farm Hub to the public is something the Island Grown board and staff alike have long wanted to do, Ms. Haag said.

“We want to be inclusive and get the community engaged,” she said.