Harvest Festival returning with feast of fun
September 29, 2021
A feast of fall activities will descend on Sweet Home Saturday, Oct. 2, for the 15th Annual Harvest Festival at Sankey Park, 877 14th Ave.
The family-friendly event will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and include free children's games, face-painting, wagon rides and pumpkin painting. More than 80 vendors will be offering crafts and food items for sale, and a pie bake-off and chili cookoff are among the event's highlights. Musical entertainment will be provided by Jobe Woosley and Dustin Foxx.
The number of vendors is a marked increase from last year's event, which saw about 50.
The city currently doesn't charge for a vendor slot. Communications Specialist Lagea Mull theorized that part of the reason for greater turnout this year may be a result of the city switching from paper to online forms, a change that makes the process more "efficient," she said.
She also noted that interest in the festival in general is growing.
"We are seeing partnerships with local businesses and churches that are excited to participate in this annual event," she said. "We as a community put on the Jamboree for a regional and national audience, but the Harvest Festival is its own little community thing, where we get together and get to give back, for us." She added that the event produces "warm, family fun, Hallmark-movie kind of moments."
"It's great being able to get together and buy the crafts your neighbor made down the street, and support local businesses," she continued. "It's fun to be able to see our neighbors showing off their wares."
Craft vendors will line Weddle Bridge, with the majority of vendors scattered through the park.
"We are excited to continue this great family event which our predecessors had the vision to create 15 years ago," said festival organizer Angela Clegg. "We are able to grow this event by having great sponsors like Apple Tree Real Estate of HomeSmart Realty Group and Gregory Home Team of Keller Williams Realty, many community partners, volunteers and great city staff."
Mull credited former Planning Assistant Katie Wilcox and recently retired Permit Technician Molly Laycock for helping to launch the event 15 years ago. In the beginning, it was managed by the city's Parks & Recreation Department, which has since been absorbed into the Community and Economic Development Department, the entity primarily responsible for organizing the festival this fall.
"We had some great city staff 15 years ago, who had this idea and this passion," Mull said.
The pie bake-off, sponsored by East Linn Property Management, has three divisions: Amateur Youth (17 and under), Amateur Adult (18 and over) and Professional (all ages), with two categories of pies: Fruit (berry, apple, cherry, etc.) and Other (pecan or pumpkin).
The Road Maggots, a charitable organization and motorcycle group, have again organized the chili cook-off, now entering its second year. Each participating team is required to make at least five gallons of chili, up from the three gallons last year due to the "higher-than-expected response to last year's event," according to a city press release.
Admission will be $5 per person or $10 per family (limit of six people per family) for the Chili Cook-Off. A ticket will be provided as proof of purchase for general admission. Purchasers will use their entry ticket as a "voting ticket" for the People's Choice Award, to determine the best overall chili. Ticket-sale profits will go toward Sweet Home girl Rialee Roth's fight against Hotchkins lymphoma.
The KidZone, run by the Sweet Home Public Library's Staff, will have children's games, petting zoo crafts, pumpkin painting, face painting and movie characters greeting the children.
Festival parking will be available at Sweet Home High School's parking lot, the Sweet Home Evangelical Church, and the public parking lot at 1141 12th Ave.
"We are going to follow all the state mandated rules regarding COVID, and will have signs up," Clegg noted.
Potential volunteers for the Harvest Festival can reach Clegg at (541) 367-8113 or firstname.lastname@example.org.