Chloe, 12-year-old Lab, dressed as the King of the Lions. She really did not enjoy her crown slipping, but played along with the group. She belongs to Zach Gay of Dowagiac. (The Daily News/Provided)
Chloe, 12-year-old Lab, dressed as the King of the Lions. She really did not enjoy her crown slipping, but played along with the group. She belongs to Zach Gay of Dowagiac. (The Daily News/Provided)

Archived Story

200 attended fourth annual family fun event

Published 8:30am Wednesday, October 28, 2009

VANDALIA – The fourth annual Harvest Festival was held at Dr. T.K. Lawless Park on Saturday, Oct 3.

Despite a chill in the air and a little dampness, more than 200 adults and children turned out for an enjoyable afternoon of family fun events.

A new event this year was a Scavenger Hunt.

Children 2-11 years of age received a list of items to be found throughout the park, and along with the item was a letter.

The object of the game was to collect all the letters, then unscramble them to spell a word.
After doing so, children were given goody bags containing candy, a craft, a bookmark and a flying disk.

However, many surprises awaited the children on the Scavenger Hunt.

There was a scarecrow that would suddenly move and talk, and a stinky skunk.

At the Ooey-Gooey station it was necessary to stick a hand into the ooze, and a flying disk needed to be tossed into the Disk Golf basket to retrieve the letters.

From the squeals and laughter heard throughout the park, the Scavenger Hunt was a hit.
At the call of “All-A-Board!” children climbed into the colorful painted cars of Arden Withers’ Choo-Choo for a trip around the park.

Other popular returning events included Darrell Polmateer’s magnificent draft horses, which pulled happy festival goers through the park in a wagon decorated with ghosts, and Lee Ann Farmer, “The Balloon Lady,” who created many colorful animals, hats and fanciful figure with balloons.

A Bike Rodeo, presented by Suzann Flowers of the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission, was offered.

At the rodeo, children learned how to correctly fit a helmet and were able to practice the rules of the road when bike riding.

There was also face painting by Anna Hartley and Patti Luebcke, and all children 2-11 years of age received a free pumpkin.

The annual “K-9′s in Costume” Contest, sponsored by the Cass County Animal Shelter, was held at the Harvest Festival.

Nine canines strutted down the runway dressed in their clever costumes to the delight of the audience.

Lacie Marie, 16-month-old yellow lab belonging to Dave, Laura and Lauren Salela, Diamond Shores Drive, Cassopolis, was winner of the K 9′s in Costume. She was dressed as a fairy princess, and was very proud of her costume. Lacie Marie calmly reigned over her subjects even before she made her walk down the runway.

Chloe, 12-year-old Lab was dressed as the King of the Lions. She really did not enjoy her crown slipping, but played along with the group. She belongs to Zach Gay of Dowagiac.
Chase, a 4-year-old American Eskimo, was dressed as a Harley Davidson pup, proudly wearing his Harley-Davidson bandanna.

Chase belongs to Cindy, Gary, Madison and Matthew Worley of Niles.

Midwest Boston Terrier Rescue put in a good showing with Spidey, a 5 year old Boston Terrier dressed as a fireman, Boochie, a 2 year old Boston Terrier dressed as a clown, Jake, a 2 year old Boston Terrier dressed as Elvis, Daisy a 3 year old Boston Terrier dressed as a princess and last, but not least, Scooter, a 5 year old mixed fella, dressed as a common workman.

Kelly Nelson of Niles was the group leader of the pack, doing a fine job.

Reeses, a 2 year old chocolate Lab in a bat costume was the last entrant, and did well even though his costume kept slipping. This was his first competition. He belongs to Jacob Withers, of Edwardsburg.

Judges were Charles Olmstead, Kelly Rezepka and  Judy Brown, all having a hard time making a Top Dog winner decision.

Cass/St Joseph County Outstanding Teen Queen Abby Rezepka crowned the Top Dog.
The Harvest Festival was possible thanks to a grant from the Cass County Inter-Agency Council/Youth Committee.

The event was sponsored by the Cass County Parks and Recreation Commission, Cass County Conservation District and Cass District Library.

Also making this day possible were the Friends of the Parks, Cass County Mounted Division, Cass County Animal Shelter and the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission.

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