Under the Harvest Moon Festival to offer children’s activities

Published 1:27 pm Tuesday, September 21, 2021

DOWAGIAC — Families that take their children to Under the Harvest Moon on Saturday, Oct. 9, in downtown Dowagiac will make their festival experience even more rewarding, organizers said.

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 and carving, to Hidden Acre’s animal petting farm and a carnival wall of games.

“New this year, we are pleased to welcome the Dowagiac Conservation Club, which will host youth archery,” Phillipson said.  “Older children can also try their hand at lumberjack axe throwing.”

“We’re excited to have Mary Green and Green Dance Academy continue the tradition of hosting the children’s pumpkin decorating workshop, which began 10 years ago by its forerunner MKSOD,” 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.”

If residents would like to try their hand at carving, Dowagiac Democrats are featuring pumpkin carving outside their headquarters on Front Street.

“Also new this year, children can meet Fairytale Friends’ Good Witch, who will visit the festival from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., dressed in a beautiful gown of white satin,” Phillipson said.

Children should also be on the outlook for a costumed character from Dowagiac District Library, who will pass out free children’s books from 10 a.m. to noon.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., families can fall into fun at Who Knew? Consignment, where they can Take and Make a Home Craft. She said they will also want to stop by Beckwith Park, where Hidden Acres will feature a petting farm.

Phillipson said Dowagiac Fire Department invites families to tour the Smoke House to receive fire safety tips and also meet Smokey the Bear.

Festival goers will enjoy music presented throughout the day by The Pride, featuring Dowagiac’s Dennis Ferrier and Dave Bolin, and performances by Miss Michele & Co., Green Dance Studio, Positively Dance and cardio drumming presented by Healthy Vibes of Sister Lakes.

Hosted by the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce, the fall event, which is celebrating its 10th season, has been underwritten by these corporate and in-kind sponsors:  Creative Vinyl Signs, Dowagiac Area History Museum, Dussel’s Farm Market, Forest Glen Assisted Living, Hale’s Hardware, J&H Oil Company, Leader Publications, Marion Magnolia Farms, Mennel Milling Co. of Michigan, Southwestern Michigan College Athletics, US Lumber Company, Williams A-1 Expert Tree Service and Wright Farms’ Market.

To register for commercial booth space or to make arrangements to place a vintage tractor on display call (269) 782-8212 or email VPhillipson@Dowagiac.org.