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Harvestfest will go ahead this year 0

By Sarah Doktor, Simcoe Reformer

Delhi's Harvestfest, which celebrates both the farming aspect of the community as well as the town's significant cultural heritage, will go ahead this year despite initial concerns following last year's event. (FILE PHOTO)

Delhi's Harvestfest, which celebrates both the farming aspect of the community as well as the town's significant cultural heritage, will go ahead this year despite initial concerns following last year's event. (FILE PHOTO)

DELHI - 

Delhi’s Harvestfest will return again this September.

“Everything is a go,” said Eugene Schweertman, a member of the Harvestfest committee. The event will take place Sept. 14, 15 and 16.

After last year’s festival, organizers were unsure of the event’s future. They struggled to find volunteers and money to run the weekend-long festival.

There were also complaints after the festival was moved from the town’s core to the baseball diamond and field at the Delhi Community Arena. The move saw a loss of funding and big drop in attendance.

However, with fresh faces on the Harvestfest committee this year, the event should exceed expectations.

Schweertman said this year’s event would see many of the past popular attractions returning while introducing new attractions as well.

“It’s a real good step forward,” said Schweertman. “I’m hoping this year will start a chain reaction for years to come.”

The festival, which has also been criticized for stepping away from its harvest origins, wants to address the issue.

“We’ve gotten away from the roots,” admits Schweertman.

One way to do this was to create a new event featuring vehicles found on the farm with the inaugural antique tractor show.

The show will also help to bring the festival back to the core.

“He (Schweertman) said he was trying to get more things happening downtown and we (the BIA) appreciate that,” said BIA president Andy Putoczki.

The tractor show will close Main Street for only a few hours on one day. Schweertman also hopes the local merchants will use the time as an opportunity to have a sidewalk sale. He hopes this will create a better relationship, as merchants will not have to compete with outside vendors like they did in the past.

The Delhi Kinsmen are also ready for the upcoming festival. The club will help run a handful of events over the weekend.

The Kinsmen will be running the open-air beer garden at the arena throughout the entire festival. The club is also helping to organize a concert. Crown the Lion will be performing on the Friday evening at the arena.

The Kinsmen will host a breakfast, lunch and car show on the weekend.

“Everything is on schedule,” said Ken Person, president of the Delhi Kinsmen.

While Harvestfest organizers are busy preparing for a much bigger festival than last year, there are some hurdles yet to be cleared.

“We’re still having some problems getting volunteers,” said Schweertman, who added holding the event at the arena helps contain the volunteers to one location which optimizes their potential.

Organizers are also still looking for sponsors, vendors and donations.

Schweertman estimates it will cost more than $30,000 to put on the event he envisions.

Sarah Doktor

519-426-3528 ext. 112

sarah.doktor@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/sarahreformer

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