By Charlie Church
Just as the vibrant hues of autumn begin to dapple the landscape, just as the air takes on a crisp edge, anticipation of the 13th Annual Vicksburg Harvest Festival arrives.
The cherished event, a wonderful way to while the family’s time in the fall, is set for Sunday, September 24. Promising a weekend of festive flavors, family-friendly activities, and celebration of harvests past, the occasion will begin at 11 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. It is hosted by the Vicksburg Historical Society and takes place on the Historic Village grounds.
This year’s Harvest Festival promises a diverse array of activities. Among the attractions, the Village will come alive with doting docents in each of the buildings. Young and old will delight in horse-drawn hay wagon rides, a sawmill demonstration, tiny pumpkin decorating, face painting, and all sorts of neat animals to pet and appreciate. The Vicksburg Historical Society’s 1931 Ford Model A will be available to ferry folks on short rides. All along the gravel path, visitors will be able to see antique tractors and farm machinery up close.
As in preceding years, a secret word and picture search will get the kids scrambling all over the early 20th century village seeking clues to earn prizes. In addition, Generous Hands and South County Community Services will have those petite pumpkins to be decorated near the headquarters tent. There will also be a game to guess a gourd’s weight and a 50/50 raffle.
As a special treat this year, the pumpkin decorating contest will expand to allow teens and adults to compete. Ahead of the event, children aged 5 to 12, teenagers, and adults can enter a pumpkin decorating competition for prizes from Apple Knockers. The contest requires entries to be delivered to the Depot Museum on Saturday, Sept. 23 between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Applications for the pumpkin decorating contest will be available online at vicksburghistory.org and at the Depot Museum on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. in September.
Central to the festival’s theme is the celebration of local agriculture. Up at the pavilion, vendors from the Farmers’ Market will showcase the area’s rich agricultural heritage and artisans and crafters from all over will have goods for sale. Food enthusiasts will be treated to a gastronomic journey, with a variety of food trucks and stalls offering delectable treats.
All the buildings in the Historic Village, relocated and restored, will be open for tours. Friendly and knowledge guides will be in each to explain the history of the print shop, general store, Doris Lee Sweet Shop, schoolhouse, township hall, garage, and farmhouse. The Vicksburg Historical Society and Historic Village are open during the fall on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. for researching and viewing the collection of artifacts at the Depot Museum and on the grounds.
The Harvest Festival is organized by the Vicksburg Historical Society, and we look forward to welcoming all, rain or shine, on the last Sunday in September.