LUSELAND — Need an opportunity to squash the end-of-summer sadness? Beet the autumn blues and head out in your community or a neighbouring one and take in their harvest festival celebrations.
Community harvest festivals in the Press-Herald area will be taking place in the next six weeks, with Luseland kicking off the fall season with their event Sept. 9.
Organizers say their annual celebration occurs around the time of the main harvest in their region. Harvest festivals feature feasting, fun and family activities.
Tradition used to have farmers and community celebrating the end of harvest with a big meal known as a harvest supper, with everyone invited to attend. Many Saskatchewan communities say their harvest suppers have migrated into traditional fall or fowl suppers in later fall.
Harvest festivals have now evolved by a new generation providing a day or weekend full of activity that still has a food component but encompasses much more to appeal to all generations. The intention is to build an activity that provides a fun day for families with an autumn theme, close to home.
Kerrobert, Luseland, Macklin and Unity are known for being event hosts through the summer, as well as in other seasons. All of these communities take pride in their community volunteer efforts for collaborating in efforts to hold successful events and activities.
Luseland’s Harvest Festival is one of the longest fall ventures, although has only been taking place for several years. Community organizers say they love to see additional developments added to their fall affair.
For the Sept. 9 celebration in Luseland, businesses are on board hosting events, special sales and promotions. CZ Studio is hosting its grand opening event in conjunction with the harvest festival. The community’s Kids in the Kitchen program has jumped on board, hosting a lemonade stand throughout the day. The Community Development Committee has added live music, food options, games, a farmers market, and other activities to ensure there is something offered for everyone.
Macklin, who has hosted a number of events this summer, most notably the annual World Championship Bunnock Tournament, are jumping into hosting duties once again with a first-ever harvest festival. The community’s Chamber of Commerce are the organizers and are working to line up a full family day.
“Our vision is to have an old-school festival, games for kids, food, music and of course different community organizations coming out to join in with activities along with businesses,” organizer, Sara Neufeld, says.
“We are also helping suggest ideas for businesses in ways they can join in or fundraise for their organization.”
Neufeld said at a recent chamber meeting the discussion revolved around non-profit organizations and opportunities to fundraise and she brought up the idea of hosting another activity that would give these groups a chance to showcase their work and opportunity to fundraise.
“Times have been tough, and these organizations have been hit hard, so what better way to bring the community together and get families out and having fun.”
Kerrobert will hold its second annual harvest festival on Thanksgiving weekend again. They say it is a great opportunity for families who gather Thanksgiving weekend to experience hometown hospitality. In addition to multiple food options, school tours and other activities, a parade will be part of the Saturday lineup of events.
Unity Ag Society’s annual Fall Fair and Trade Show is run in a similar manner to a harvest festival although it gathers people in one location for the opportunity to catch up with friends and neighbours, celebrate the harvest, enjoy sharing a meal together and showcase their home-grown and homemade items at the fall fair portion while also participating in shopping and learning opportunities at the trade show portion.
The added traffic to community businesses always provides an economic boost. Inviting people outside of the community helps raise the profile of people, places and spaces in that centre.
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