Downtown businesses welcome return of Under the Harvest Moon festival

Published 12:32 pm Friday, September 10, 2021

DOWAGIAC — The return of a popular local festival has the community buzzing.

The Under the Harvest Moon festival returns to downtown Dowagiac after one-year COVID-induced hiatus, much to the delight of community members and downtown business owners alike.

The annual festival will feature a display of new and vintage farm tractors, an open-air marketplace of antiques, fall produce, Michigan handmade products and sweet delicacies, as well as street entertainment and family activities.

“I’m super excited,” said Rosy Tomorrows owner Claudia Zebell. “It feels good having things somewhat return to normal. During the festival, people like coming into the store to browse. We’re excited the festival is happening, and we’re looking forward to seeing customers we know and meeting new friends. This festival is one of the wonderful things about Dowagiac.”

Zebell and June Nemeth, owner of Yarn on Front, 122 S. Front St., are looking forward to the vibrant atmosphere Under the Harvest Moon brings annually.

“Fall is our favorite time of the year at Yarn on Front, and Under the Harvest Moon our favorite festival,” Nemeth said. “We are excited to share our love of all things yarn and invite festival goers to stop by and book a free lesson to learn to make hand warmers. We look forward to seeing people coming back to downtown and enjoying all the wonderful wares shop owners and festival vendors will have.”

“Different shops make scarecrows and put them out in front,” she said. “The leaves are turning colors, there are pumpkins and ciders, shops have specials. There’s a festive mood in the air. People come out to support small businesses, and it’s just a fun time. The whole atmosphere is fun.”

Also making its return to downtown Dowagiac this year is the popular road and trail race Steve’s Run. The race will be held at 9 a.m. Oct. 9 in downtown Dowagiac, the same day as Under the Harvest Moon.

The annual race dates back to 1974. The 2020 race was hosted virtually July 25 through Aug. 1 during the pandemic. Historically, the race began and ended in downtown Dowagiac up through 2014, then moved to the SMC campus in 2015 before coming back to downtown Dowagiac this year.

For Zebell, the race’s return to downtown is the icing on the cake for this year’s festival.

“It is a terrific event,” Zebell said. “I think it attracts people from various areas. It was wonderful when it did come through downtown and we have missed its presence. The race will heighten the excitement of the festival.”