Harvest Festival, on Oct. 5, to be bigger, better than ever

Sean C. Morgan

The 13th Annual Harvest Festival, on Oct. 5, will feature more hours, more activities and free rides to the event.

“We are excited to continue this great tradition of hosting a fun event by our community, for our community,” said Angela Clegg, associate planner with the City of Sweet Home. “We’re celebrating our community, the people that are in this community.”

The Oregon Jamboree is something for visitors, said Lagea Mull, city communications specialist. “This is our thing. When you’re in a community, you’re part of a family.

“That’s the feeling we want for this festival,” Clegg said.

“We have a lot of newcomers,” Mull said.

The Harvest Festival is one of the first things she heard about when we arrived the day of the festival three years ago.

“A small-town harvest festival is just a great time. It’s exciting. Everybody loves fall and pumpkin spice.”

“We’re starting a few new things this year,” Clegg said.

Scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 5 in Sankey Park, the event is two hours longer than usual.

“Linn Shuttle will be offering a free ride Saturday within city limits,” Mull said. “People at the far end of town can ride the shuttle free.”

They can get off the shuttle at the Senior Center, which operates the program, or at 13th and Kalmia.

The pie-baking contest is back, Clegg said, and judges are still needed.

The contest will include a division for youths 17 years and under, and one for adults 18 years and older. Entries may be either fruit, like apple, blackberry or strawberry, or other, like pecan, chess or buckeye.)

“This year we have added a Fun Run,” Clegg said.

“I’m pretty sure this is going to be our first-ever fun run (at the festival),” Mull said.

The city is partnering with Steelhead Fitness for a 1½-mile walk-run and a 3-mile run, Clegg said. Preregistration for the runs can be done at City Hall or Steelhead Strength and Fitness, or online at http://www.sweet-home.or.us/community/page/harvest-festival-october-5th-sankey-park. The race is at 10 a.m. and on-site registration closes at 9.

The Point Restaurant donated its stage to the city, Clegg said, and Brewer’s Grade will perform during the Harvest Festival.

The Oregon country music band played last year at the Oregon Jamboree.

“That’s how I knew of them,” Clegg said. She liked the group on Facebook and sent them an instant message asking if they would like to come to Sweet Home.

“I was pretty excited. They’ve been really great to work with.”

“The biggest thing this year is we can’t use our bandstand,” Clegg said. The structure is closed thanks to storm damage and structural issues, so The Point’s donation “was a pivotal thing.”

The city will put up a tent to provide covered seating, Mull said, including tables.

“Chafin Farms will be back again, but this time they are bringing two horse-drawn wagons,” Clegg said. “These free wagon rides are one of our popular activities.”

Pumpkin painting remains a free attraction, Mull said, and Andrea McClintock, who moved to Sweet Home last year, with Thou Art Beautiful returns to provide face painting in the Kid Zone.

The Kid Zone will have plenty of games, like Frankenstein nose picking, bowling and digging in the hay.

How many games depends on how many volunteers show up to help out, Clegg said. Clegg said she took some cues from the Jamboree and has created volunteer teams to run the event.

“We are looking for volunteers to assist with set-up, overseeing the children’s games and clean-up,” Clegg said. Sponsorships also are available.

Forty-two vendors will line Weddle Bridge and the lawn around the bridge. The area still has room for more vendors. Space in the festival is free.

The Boys and Girls Club will have a booth selling biscuits and gravy in the morning and hot dogs in the afternoon.

Harvest Festival parking will be available at Upper Sankey Park around the BMX Track, in the Sweet Home High School parking lot and in the public parking lot at 13th and Kalmia Street. Fourteenth Avenue will be closed except to residents.

For more information or to volunteer, contact Clegg at (541) 367-8113 or [email protected].