BIA eyeing ‘Harvest Festival’ again this year

After having to cancel it last year due to the extensive reconstruction of Scott Street, the local Business Improvement Association is looking to carry on with an event first conceived in 2001 as “Mall Days” for the fall season—the “Harvest Festival.”
“We haven’t decided a date yet, but tentatively we’re looking at Sept. 27 or Oct. 4,” BIA co-ordinator Harlene Lowey said yesterday afternoon following a board of directors’ meeting at which they decided to try the “Harvest Festival” again this year.
“We’re trying to find a date that’s not in conflict with any other events,” Lowey noted. “For instance, we were looking at the 20th [of September], but there’s the Easter Seals street hockey tournament at that time.” While the event didn’t materialize last year, and proved only to be a moderate success in its inaugural year in 2001, the board wanted to take another stab at it, said Lowey.
“It’s about community involvement, promoting the downtown, and just giving people something fun to do,” she remarked.
While details are still up in air at this time, some early ideas for activities include pony rides, caramel apple making, and pumpkin carving.
Two years ago, the 200 and 300 blocks of Scott Street were lined with haystacks on the Saturday as many merchants there took their wares to the sidewalks.
But the event, which not only was brand-new, also was competing with the fly-in barbecue at the airport which drew a large crowd that otherwise might have ventured downtown on any other Saturday.
The inaugural event included sidewalk sales, a corn roast to raise funds for the local Chamber of Commerce’s beautification committee, kids’ activities at the museum, and pony rides.
There also were square dancers and performances by Fort Dance Studio, as well as a haystack dig for prizes and a buffet at the Rainy Lake Hotel.
Any merchants or service clubs wanting to get involved with the BIA’s “Harvest Festival” can call Lowey at 274-7502.