Highland Harvest Festival promises old-fashioned community fun

Some of the Highland Harvest Festival volunteers. (Courtesy of the Highland Downtown Business Association.)

The newly re-energized Highland Business Association (HBA) will put on a family-friendly festival that just may leave you feeling a bit nostalgic. The Highland Harvest Festival on Saturday, September 28 from noon to 6 p.m. at Town Field in the hamlet will feature hay rides, apple dunking, bocce ball and a homemade pie contest. (Any type of pie will do; just bake it and bring it, and a surprise prize may be yours. The entry fee previously advertised has been eliminated.) 

“We’re surrounded by farmers, and apple orchards, and it seemed like it would be fun to bring back an old-fashioned pie-baking contest,” says Renae Martin, president of the HBA and owner of Lilly Rae in the Hamlet. “I’m a very sentimental, old-fashioned person, and a lot of the things that we have planned are really all about that. It’s just about being a part of the community, and participating in something fun.”

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The streets of the downtown business section will be closed to traffic so visitors can traverse the hamlet freely. Admission is free.

Highland Harvest Festival will have plenty of activities for the little ones, including face-painting, pumpkin bowling – yes, that’s just what it sounds like – and a cupcake decorating contest free for kids of all ages; cupcakes, icing and cake decorations will be supplied. Prizes will be awarded in three age categories.

A “little tikes hay maze” made with horse-feed hay bales (loaned out for the day by local resident Matt Smith) will keep the kids busy, and ever-popular souvenir photos may be taken in a photo booth and at some of those decorative “your-face-here” plywood paintings with cutouts to stand behind and have a photo taken as the character painted on the front. Several community members have volunteered their time to do the painting. 

Live music will be performed by local band, Touch of Rhythm, and several of the area businesses will put on performances or demonstrations, including dancers from Gina Marie’z Academy of Performing Arts and martial arts students from Bushiken Karate Skinner Dojo.

Food vendors will be plentiful, so no one need go home hungry, and handcraft vendors will have special items suitable for gift-giving during the upcoming holidays.

Currently numbering some 31 members, The Highland Business Association, which has been rebuilding its ranks since June, serves as an advocate and a resource for local business owners. Their objective is to enhance the professionalism of its members through regular meetings, seminars and community events like the Highland Harvest Fest. “One of the things the HBA needs to do, in order to have events, is have fundraisers,” says Martin. “We try to find ways to bring money in, but also put money back out into the community.” But more than that, events such as this one “are really a good way to get everybody together and get to know some of the neighbors you don’t know,” she adds. “Even though it’s a small town, there are always people you’ve never met before.”

For more information, visit Highland Harvest Festival on Facebook or email TheHighlandBA@gmail.com.