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Celebrate Harvest With The John R. Park Homestead

Thursday September 21st, 2017, 6:56pm


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John R. Park Homestead will welcome visitors on Sunday, October 1st to experience old-fashioned fall merriment on the farm with the Harvest & Horses Festival.

From Noon until 4pm, the Homestead will host this popular fall festival, which combines all the elements of an old-fashioned fall harvest with the exciting opportunity to meet all varieties of horses, big and small.

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, each demonstrating their own special skills in the ring.

“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.

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

If that’s not enough horsing around, kids can also enjoy pony rides provided by Sarah Parks Horsemanship, and a chance to climb into a pumpkin carriage – an experience straight from the storybooks. Those interested in local agricultural history will be thrilled to watch horse-drawn equipment in action, as well as a display of pioneer-era harvest tools. Visitors will also have the chance to explore with the Homestead’s new Harvest and Horses photo scavenger hunt. Scavenger hunt results will be posted by rank on the event’s Wall of Fame.

Back by popular demand, the Homestead will welcome professional photographer Ted Kloske of Henry’s Windsor, who will be on-site to capture harvest-themed family portraits. The Homestead is a unique destination for many local photographers and their clients. Kloske will shoot and print the images on-site for a small donation to the Homestead.

The event also offers visitors the chance to participate in traditional pioneer 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. Visitors can enjoy all of this while listening to the old-timey fiddle tunes of local band Mike Houston and the Woodchoppers.

A BBQ lunch, refreshments, and harvest dessert will be available thanks to the Kingsville Lions Club.

Event admission is $6 peradult, $4 per 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. Service animals, as always, are welcome.

For more information and a detailed event schedule, call 519-738-2029 or visit the website at


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