Under the Harvest Moon to offer plentiful children’s activities

DOWAGIAC — Families that take their children to Under the Harvest Moon on Saturday, Oct. 13, in downtown Dowagiac will make their festival experience even more rewarding, according to organizers.

This community’s autumn celebration, which features a display of vintage farm tractors and an outdoor marketplace of handmade goods, produce and baked goods, offers a full day of fun for families. 

Event Chairman Vickie Phillipson, program director of the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Development Authority, said the festival site, itself, is designed to be family-friendly. 

“Front Street will be closed to motorists, as we place activities right on the street,” Phillipson said.  “As a result, festival goers will be able to freely enjoy the day’s activities, with little worry as they cross from one side of the street to the other.”

While Front Street will be closed, she said all downtown parking lots will remain open.

Throughout the day, families will enjoy a variety of activities, from pumpkin decorating to Hidden Acre’s animal petting farm, inflatables provided by Judd Lumber Co. and Rental and the candy corn spoon race at 1:30 p.m., hosted by Accounting Consultants PC.  The Miss Dowagiac Scholarship Pageant is also hosting autumn games, a photo booth and giving away treat packets in celebration of its upcoming 80th year of pageantry.

“We’re excited to have MKSOD partner with the festival to again host the children’s pumpkin decorating workshop, which runs throughout the event,” Phillipson said.  “Since the onset of the autumn celebration, the dance studio has sponsored the activity and will again provide pumpkins and decorating supplies for the first 150 children, up to sixth grade.”

New this year, a live scarecrow will be reading children’s stories at the booth of the Dowagiac District Library from 10 to 2 p.m. 

“Families can then fall into fun at Who Knew? Consignment, where they can make and take home a craft from 10 to 3,” Phillipson said.

Throughout the event, families can ride a horse-drawn wagon to the Dowagiac Area History Museum, where there will be demonstrations and hands-on activities.  On Commercial Street, families can also tour the Dowagiac Fire Department’s Smoke House.

As day-visitors await the Parade of Halloween Hounds at noon, sponsored by Bow Wow Bakery and Bath, families can enjoy Cass County’s best pork sandwiches, grilled chicken, and brats, served by Smokin’ Good of Cassopolis and Dowagiac’s Smoke Signal BBQ; Hubbert’s sweet kettle corn; Krause’s elephant ears; and the Caramel Apple & Cider Bar, presented by Caruso’s Candy Kitchen.

There is also the Taste of Michigan Wine & Craft Brew event hosted by Wounded Minnow Saloon on the patio and a Corn Hole Tournament beginning at 1 p.m.

Festival goers will enjoy music presented throughout the day by the Van Dyke Revue and street musician Rene Meave.  Performances also include Miss Michele & Co. at 11, MKSOD & Positively Dance at 12:30, a cardio drumming demonstration by Lifestyle Nutrition at 1:30 and the Pokagon Drum and Dance Group at 2 p.m.

Corporate and in-kind sponsors of the festival are: Accounting Consultants, Creative Vinyl Signs, Dowagiac Area History Museum, Kim MacGregor’s office of Edward Jones, Forest Glen Assisted Living, Hale’s Hardware, J&H Oil Company, Leader Publications, Mennel Milling of Michigan, Preferred Printing, Skibbe Business & Tax Service, Smoke Vision Care, Southwestern Michigan College, Town & Country Garden Club and William’s A-1 Expert Tree Service.

For a full list of activities, to register for commercial booth space visit DowagiacChamber.com, its Facebook page or call the Chamber at (269) 782-8212.

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