Fall Fest a hit
Delhi held its first annual Fall Fest on the weekend. Vendors and carnival rides were set up along downtown streets and parade was held Saturday morning. Natalie Hein, nine, of Brantford was in the parade as a clown. (DANIEL R. PEARCE Simcoe Reformer)
The new version of Delhi’s annual September festival got off to a successful start on the weekend.
The Friday night street dance brought in somewhere between 750 and 1,000 people. The wrestling was a hit. Unlike last year, the rain held off for the Saturday morning parade, which featured a cross-section of the community, including plenty of the town’s children and teens.
The Delhi Fall Fest is replacing the old Harvestfest, which went off for 43 years in a row before running into money problems last year.
This year, it’s a new set of volunteers on the organizing committee, a new name, and some new ideas. A stage, called The Ring of Fire, was set up downtown at the corner of Church and Main for local musicians to get up on and play.
Those two streets were blocked off to vehicle traffic and vendors moved in selling everything from makeup to fresh produce from nearby farms.
Midway rides set up in a parking lot off Church Street.
Delhi Fall Festival chair Paul Murray said he tried to make it as much “a Delhi event” as possible. Even the funding was local. “It was all local donations, except for council (funding),” he explained
Another piece of good news, said Murray, is that the weekend is expected to come in under its budget of $10,000.
The key thing, said organizers, was moving the focus for the event back downtown from the arena.
“We started at ground zero. It’s going to be awesome,” said BrendaLee Smiley of Delhi, a member of the organizing committee.
Downtown business owner Linda Munroe praised the event, saying “for the first time putting something together they’ve done a great job.
“It’s that sense of community,” she added. “Everybody likes to be together. They just need a reason.”
The old Harvestfest was a way to celebrate the end of the farming season, and the event used to feature a tobacco priming contest that pitted municipal politicians against each other and a Tobacco queen was crowned.
Now the focus is on other agricultural products. Organizers asked Howard Greenhouses to be one of the vendors on Main Street. It arrived with boxes of a variety of squash, including butternut, pepper, and spaghetti.
“It’s cheaper than the grocery store,” Kyle Wavell, 22, whose family owns the business, said as people walked by.
But the real of appeal of the event remains the socializing, said long time Delhi resident Rick Tisdale.
“It brings people out. It gives them something to do on a beautiful day,” said Tisdale, who had his two-year-old grandson with him. “Little town, little get-together.”
Daniel R. Pearce
519-426-3528 ext. 132