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Celebrate fall at the Harvest Festival in Hespeler

'It’s a great time for people to come out and meet others in their neighbourhood'
2022 2009 Harvest Festival BL 1
Hosted by the Hespeler Village Neighbourhood Association (HVNA), the Harvest Festival will take place at Forbes Park in Cambridge from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Sept. 24.

Fall is in the air and to celebrate the season, the 11th annual Harvest Festival is set to return to Cambridge on Sept. 24.  

Hosted by the Hespeler Village Neighbourhood Association (HVNA), the Harvest Festival will take place at Forbes Park from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

“We were unable to hold the festival for the last couple years due to the pandemic, but this year we are excited to bring it back for its 11th year,” said Amanda Horne, executive director at HVNA.

“We’ve had so much momentum with this event over the years and then nothing for the last two, so it’s time to brush off the cobwebs and bring the community together.”

The Harvest Festival will offer a variety of vendors and artisans.

“We will have a number of vendors that are focused on the fall harvest including farmers with produce, and artisans sharing arts and crafts. There will be a little mix of everything,” Horne said.  

The free event will also include a variety of children’s activities including bouncy castles, a trackless train, a rock wall, petting zoo, some good old-fashioned carnival games, pumpkin bowling, a pumpkin maze and numerous prizes.

“This is a real wholesome family affair with live music included. There will also be someone there to offer some line dancing instruction,” Horne said.

Horne said the festival has grown in popularity within the Hespeler Village community over the years and this year, HVNA looks forward to seeing everyone back.

“The Harvest Festival originally started with two very dedicated volunteers who wanted to bring fresh produce and the harvest to the community, but they also wanted to bring everyone together to celebrate in Hespeler,” Horne said.

“For the first nine years, the event was held on Queen St. downtown and in 2019, we moved it to Forbes Park since it is such a big family event.”

And according to Horne, one activity to top off the cake, or pie in this case, has really grown in popularity.

“The festival includes a pumpkin pie eating contest. With sponsorship from Zehrs in Hespeler, we have 60 pies for anyone who feels like they may want to stuff their face full of pie and win a prize,” Horne said.

Horne said the event is truly for the community.

“It’s our way, here at HVNA, to kick-off to our fall program line-up as many of our programs are based on the school year,” Horne said.

“It’s to provide an equitable opportunity for the community to come together, to engage and participate in their neighbourhood.”

The Hespeler Village Neighbourhood Association is a not-for-profit organization that suppoorts residents who live in Hespeler Village.

The organization supports residents by offering after-school programs, drop-in programs, community events, family outreach services, leadership development programs for youth, and volunteer opportunities.

Lauren DaSilva, community engagement coordinator at HVNA, said that the Harvest Market offers an opportunity to get out and have fun again after the pandemic.

“It’s a great time for people to come out and meet others in their neighbourhood,” DaSilva said.

“We have lots of new people in the neighbourhood, so this is an opportunity for them to connect with their new neighbours along with lots of fun entertainment for the whole family.”

For more information about the Harvest Festival and the Hespeler Village Neighbourhood Association, visit here.

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Barbara Latkowski

About the Author: Barbara Latkowski

Barbara graduated with a Masters degree in Journalism from Western University and has covered politics, arts and entertainment, health, education, sports, courts, social justice, and issues that matter to the community. She joined CambridgeToday in 2021
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