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Homestead Celebrating Fall Harvest

Tuesday September 29th, 2015, 12:00pm

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As the nights grow longer and the air gets cooler, it’s time to celebrate the start of autumn with a celebration of a bountiful harvest.

In that spirit, the John R. Park Homestead will welcome visitors on Sunday, October 4th to experience old-fashioned fall merriment on the farm with the Harvest & Horses Festival from noon to 4pm.

“Given the integral role horses played in farming well into the 1900s, they are a natural fit for the harvest event,” explained John R. Park Homestead Curator Kris Ives.

The event is presented in partnership with the Essex County Carriage Club and other horse owners who volunteer to bring their animals to the show. The Festival’s main event, the parade of breeds, will feature a variety of pedigrees – from ponies and miniature horses to the largest draft breeds including Percherons, and everything in between.

“What sets this event apart is the chance for visitors to get up close to meet the horses and their owners,” said Ives. “The parade, which starts at 1:30pm sharp, will be a great opportunity to learn about what makes each of these magnificent animals special.”

Children can also enjoy pony and pony cart rides at Noon and 3pm. A $5 pony pass will give riders one chance to drive the cart and one chance to ride the pony, a great value for families. Spectators can also take in the ever-popular blind buggy competition, which sees a driver guiding a blindfolded human cart puller through a complicated- and often hilarious- course, beginning at 1pm. Those interested in local agricultural history will be thrilled to watch a horse drawn disking demonstration at 2:30 as well as a display of pioneer-era harvest tools.

The event also offers visitors the chance to participate in traditional harvest activities including cider pressing, apple drying, corn husk craft making, and more. Families are also invited to watch a blacksmithing demonstration or listen to scary stories in the attic of the 1842 house at 12:30pm, 3pm, and 3:30pm. Visitors can enjoy all of this while listening to the old-time fiddle tunes of local band Mike Houston and the Woodchoppers. A BBQ lunch and refreshments will be available thanks to the Kingsville Lions.

Event admission is $6 for adults, $4for child, with a $20 family maximum. Guests are welcome to bring their own lawn chair for a seat during the parade of breeds, but we kindly ask that no dogs be brought to the event.

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