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Celebrate fall with Harvest Happenings

John Benson • May 12, 2015 at 6:28 PM

Want to go?

• WHAT: 20th annual Harvest Happenings Festival

• WHEN: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 1-2

• WHERE: Osborn Park, 3910 Perkins Ave., Huron

• COST: Free

• INFO: 419-625-7783 ext. 232 or eriemetroparks.com

Entering its 20th year, the Erie MetroParks’ annual Harvest Happenings Festival, which takes place Oct. 1 and 2 at Osborn MetroPark, has seen its fair share of additions and subtractions over the past two decades. However, the focus has never changed from its original intent of offering something entertaining to do on an autumn weekend.

“It started out with the Firelands Pioneer Power Association having an antique engine and tractor show, with the people at the park deciding to tag a festival to it in hopes of making it bigger,” said Erie County MetroParks Special Events Coordinator Sue Daniel. “Over the years we made it more community friendly and tried to give local vendors, local community groups a chance to make some money.”

She added, “Years ago we paid for bigger money entertainment and we realized people weren’t really sitting in the entertainment tent. They just wanted to be out walking around. That’s when we tried to streamline it to make it more cost-effective and to get more people out to just enjoy it.”

Averaging anywhere between 3,000 and 6,000 people over the weekend, the Harvest Happenings Festival is something special to Daniel, who has been a part of the event for 15 years. In fact, she can remember when she first started bringing her daughter, Kayla, to the festival. Now, Kayla is a volunteer, which truly speaks to the family-friendly nature of Harvest Happenings Festival.

“There are hayrides and pumpkin painting and the Ohio Horseman’s Council of Erie County has a petting zoo,” Daniel said. “Our big draw is Back to the Wild. This is a way to showcase their rehabilitation center. Also, the Metroparks has a grant trying to introduce kids to fishing so they’ll be at the Harvest Happenings Festival with an interactive exhibit. Kids can fish in a bucket using a fishing pole with a magnet on it. They can catch fish that have a magnet attached to it and learn what species it is. They can practice casting on grass by aiming at like a hula hoop or something. It’s just a fun thing we did it at the Erie County Fair that the kids really liked.”


Other activities planned are the All Star Classic Cruise-In Car Show, Nature Nook Gift Shop (inside the Frost Center), face painting, live music, children’s pedal pull and hikes detailing the former Osborn Park Prison Farm, which at one time supplied all of the Buckeye State penitentiaries with potatoes.


Invariably, Harvest Happenings are all about learning something interesting and spending time together without spending a lot of money.


“It’s just a family-friendly, low-cost event,” Daniel said. “Come out and enjoy the fall and the pretty colors and the weather. Just get out in the parks, learn about our parks and see what we have to offer.”


For more information, call 419-625-7783, ext. 232, or visit eriemetroparks.com.

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