The annual Harvest Festival welcomed the fall season into Strongsville Sept. 29 and 30. The event, which was held at the historic village, attracted families and guests of all ages to learn about history and explore their favorite attractions.
The weather always dictates the turnout for the festival, and this year it certainly cooperated. Organizers were pleased with the number of guests who came out for a day of crafts, food and more. Many people have become regular participants in the festival, returning every year to take in the sights and smells of autumn.
The event is put on by the Strongsville Historical Society. This year, the group is celebrating 50 years of capturing the city’s history. They use the Harvest Festival as one of their largest annual fundraisers, bringing in over $6,000 to benefit the village and preserve the history of the city.
“This is something that’s been going on for a very long time. It’s a beautiful way to showcase our village to the community. There are so many things going on for families to enjoy,” said Jean Wittrock, president and chairwoman.
Some of the family favorites are candle making, rope making, the petting zoo, the farmer’s market, the cow pie lottery, the food, the classic car show and more. There were also art displays and demonstrations going on throughout the two days. As a new addition to the festival this year, woodworkers demonstrated their trade. A stained glass artist also showed the intricate skill that her craft requires.
“People are really having fun seeing the artists at work. It’s different because it’s not just artwork displayed, but they are actually working on it,” said Ruth Mitchell, historical society member.
The raffles are always a highlight for guests. As always, the cow pie lottery brought in the crowds. In the cow pie lottery, a young cow is taken into a large pen with a grid. If the animal makes a “cow pie” on your square, you win $1,000. If you have an adjacent square, you win $250. The other big raffle was for a quilt. The quilt was made by Mary Lou Wright and quilted by Ruth Brickley.
In addition to the attractions, the food was also a big hit at the festival. On the first day, a pig was roasted on the grounds of the historic village. On the second day, a chicken dinner was hosted at the United Methodist Church, with food prepared by Mayor Thomas Perciak and his wife, Debbie. Old-fashioned popcorn could also be smelled in the air throughout the weekend.
Entertainment for the event included a circus group on Saturday and a brass collective group on Sunday. No matter what time guests made their way to the village, it was always alive with fun and excitement.
The old-fashioned event has been taking place in the village since 1984. It was originally started to make the community aware of the history of the city. Today, that is still one of the main goals of the historical society as they put on a wide array of events throughout the year for people of all ages.