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MailTribune.com
  • Changes announced for Talent's Harvest Festival

    Annual event moves from September to October, and will have beer and wine garden for first time
  • TALENT — The town's annual Harvest Festival will move to the first Saturday in October and include a beer and wine garden for the first time. The event has traditionally been held on the second Saturday in September.
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  • TALENT — The town's annual Harvest Festival will move to the first Saturday in October and include a beer and wine garden for the first time. The event has traditionally been held on the second Saturday in September.
    "We looked at a variety of factors. We want to keep in accordance with the harvest theme. Most harvesting is done closer to this time," said City Manger Tom Corrigan. "There are also issues with the weather. It can be very hot in early September."
    Traditional activities, including the parade, music, food, art and a dunk tank will remain in place for the Oct. 6 event, said Corrigan. He's volunteered to sit above the tank and risk a cold dunk.
    "I don't mind sitting there if it's for a good cause," said Corrigan. Money raised will be used to help defray city expenses to put on the event.
    The city has a Harvest Festival Committee composed of citizens with city staff support. This year's chairman is Rick Nagel, a Talent resident who previously chaired several Ashland Fourth of July parades.
    The beer and wine garden will be tried on a provisional basis, said Corrigan. Police Chief Mike Moran will assist with planning.
    "There's so many vineyards in this area, and it's harvest time, so we might as well have a bit of the grape to go along with things," said Corrigan. "We'll take all the necessary precautions, and it will have to be licensed vendors."
    The garden will be placed away from children's activities and close to the food area, said Corrigan.
    "I like to see it in the time of the year when there is actually more harvest available," said committee member Sharon Anderson, who organizes the Friday evening Talent market that runs from June through August. Although the market will be closed, growers have always been welcome to bring produce to the Harvest Festival for sale.
    A harvest time area for children has featured a cider press. But finding apples for the activity has been a challenge in early September, said Anderson. The later date could offer a greater variety of apples, she added.
    Proximity of the event to the start of school was cited as another reason for the change.
    "Schools weren't in session, so it was harder to get school bands," said Mayor Bill Cecil.
    A Friday night Art and Music Festival event, part of a series held throughout the year in the downtown area, will not be held the evening before the festival as it has been for the past several years.
    "We did a lot of research regarding other city's functions so we wouldn't have conflicts," said Corrigan.
    Committee members have reached out to vendors, performers and other participants to make them aware of the date change.
    "We are delighted to keep something that has been a tradition for almost 40 years," said Councilman E.J. McManus.
    "It will be something unique for the community to adapt to, but I agree with the committee to make it more of a true harvest festival."
    Tony Boom is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Reach him at tboomwriter@gmail.com.
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