Working artisans to bring their crafts to Under the Harvest Moon

Published 11:05 am Tuesday, September 28, 2021

DOWAGIAC — Working craft and artisans at the Under the Harvest Moon Festival in downtown Dowagiac will demonstrate fine wood burning, blacksmithing as well as knitting and crocheting.

Hosted by the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce, the fall festival runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 9, and brings together collectors of antique farm tractors, new farm implements, a marketplace of Michigan-grown produce, autumn mums and handmade products, music and dance, plus family activities throughout the day.

Vickie Phillipson, event chairman and program director of the chamber of commerce and Downtown Development Authority, said she is pleased to welcome two metalsmiths from St. Joe Valley Forgers, who will present blacksmith demonstrations. St. Joe Valley Forgers is one of 11 satellite groups of the Indiana Blacksmith Association.

“Festival goers will watch the artisans as they create objects from wrought iron or steel by forging metal, using tools to hammer, bend and cut the metal,” Phillipson said.

From Dowagiac, wood burning artist Larry Collins, who began drawing at the age of nine, will have pieces of his art for sale. At 22, Collins became interested in wood burning and has since incorporated many of these items into other art forms such as note cards, limited edition prints and screen printing, all of which are available at his studio, Art ‘Enah Suit on Front Street.

New this year, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., June Nemeth, owner of Yarn on Front will host beginner’s knitting and crocheting lessons, in which participants will learn how to make a basic pair of finger-less mittens. One-hour classes will be hosted throughout the day, with the last class starting at 4 p.m.

Supplies will be provided by Yarn on Front.  Nemeth said participants should stop by the shop in the morning to register for a class later that day.  Nemeth and two of her employees will show participants how to make the mittens, which they can finish at home. Any time after that they can also stop by the shop for continued guidance, free of charge.

Under the Harvest Moon features music and dance with performances by The Pride, Green Dance Academy, Positively Dance and Miss Michele & Co., with a cardio drumming exhibition presented by Healthy Vibes of Sister Lakes.

The open-air market will feature more than 40 commercial vendors with new and vintage farm tractors also on display.

Festival-goers will enjoy mouth-watering barbeque pork, chicken and sausage presented by Earl’s BBQ and the Mexican foods of Tienda y Taqueria Del Rey, plus The Taste of Michigan Wine & Craft Brew on the patio of Wounded Minnow Saloon.

Hosted by the Chamber of Commerce, the fall event — which is celebrating its 10th year — has been underwritten by these corporate and in-kind sponsors: Corporate and in-kind sponsors of the festival include: 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.

For a full schedule of activities, to register for commercial booth space or to make plans to put a farm tractor on display, visit DowagiacChamber.com, its Facebook page or call (269) 782-8212.