Change In Seasons

FINDLEY LAKE – Nearly every inch along Main Street was occupied by vendors and attendees during Saturday’s celebration of Findley Lake’s 16th annual Harvest Festival.

Heat, humidity and perpetually threatening rain clouds could not keep the crowds away from the wide array activities and concessions offered by the festival, which began Friday and will continue today.

According to Larry Gross, owner of Our Own Candle Company, the Harvest Festival is likely the busiest weekend throughout the year for Findley Lake. As far as attendance, he said this year’s festival got off to a good start.

“It was a great night (Friday),” Gross said during Saturday’s celebration. “(Saturday night) we have the fireworks but, even with just having the vendors set up and the music playing and things, the town is pretty busy from one end to the other. All the vendors are happy, so you can’t complain.

“This is probably the largest weekend of the year,” he continued. “I don’t know the quantity of people, but in past years we’ve had 10,000 to 15,000 people come to town. And I don’t think it’ll be a lot different this year.”

According to a recent interview with Jeff Horner, event coordinator, the event is held annually to celebrate the end of summer and the beginning of harvest season.

“It’s to celebrate our farmers, and to take time out from everybody’s activities of the busy summer,” Horner said. “It’s a free event that’s for the kids and is very user-friendly. I think this is probably the best festival I’ve seen in a long time, and there is something for everybody there.”

Horner said this year’s event – which was sponsored by Our Own Candle Company and the Findley Lake area chamber of commerce – featured 35 vendors and even more entertainment for children than before. Gross said the event has physically expanded along Main Street through the years, with vendors now setting up from Shadyside Road to Route 3 by Our Own Candle Company.

Also new this year was an antique bazaar, comprised from the wares of 20 vendors – most of which can be found at Findley Lake’s newest business, the Village Center.

One of Saturday’s bigger attractions was the craft beer tent, sponsored by Pine Junction, and its accompanying gazebo featuring live music. Saturday’s music was provided by Sean Patrick McGraw, Lance Kinal and Flash Jordan.

The festivities will continue into today with DJ and kids fun with Marty’s Bubble Gum Machine from noon-2 p.m., and a Kids Got Talent contest from 2-4 p.m. Live music will be provided by Amanda Barton and Bill Ward at the craft beer tent from 1-4 p.m. The winners of the cutest baby and Kids Got Talent contests will be announced at 5 p.m.