Fall is here! Its official opening came by way of the 12th Annual Harvest Festival.
The annual festival, hosted by the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation (GJDC), pulled out all the stops. From food to fun and everything in between, the festival had all the goods of the season.
Set up in its usual spot on 160th Avenue off Jamaica Avenue, this one block packed in all kinds of seasonal events. The weekly Farmers Market, with fresh fruits and vegetables, was the gateway to the event. The live music drew visitors deeper into the block and to the heart of the festivities. Savannah Sky played the toe tapping country music tunes in a set up outside the entrance of the Harvest Market. Although the live music set the good mood, there weren’t many brave folks testing their skill on the dance floor. With so much more to do and see, its understandable the dancing had to be saved for a later date.
Hot apple cider flowed steadily through the event handed out by the smiling faces of GJDC volunteers and employees. Healthy food was a recurring theme of the festival, not only through the farmers market (on the site weekends through November 23rd), but with cooking demonstrations. Chef Fabienne Volel demonstrated cooking cauliflower and preparing a kale salad. With Food in Mind demonstrated to children how to prepare an alternative to sugary sodas by using fruit, honey and ‘fizzy water’.
The Federation of Black Cowboys cracked the whip and rope lasso-ed their way to participants heart. Their horses charmed the audience with foot counting, turning, and all types of cute stunts. But it was the lasso twirling contest that brought out the littlest cowboys and cowgirls. The winner got the opportunity to ride off into the sunset in a horse ride escorted by Cowboy Curly.
There was scarecrow making, free pumpkin giveaways, corn roasts, stilt dancers, country line dancing, decorating pumpkins, face painting, balloon art…and so much more at every turn. Children had a blast! And so did the older ‘children’.
The mascots continued to be the centerpiece of the Festival. These decked out fanciful and likeable characters of bugs and lizards frolicked through the crowd, engaging participants in all the fun. The curiosity of the children was raised and the cell phone cameras of the parents continuously snapped photos of the smiles on children created by the creatures. It made for many memorable moments. The older ‘children’ had just as much fun dancing, smiling and posing for photos along with the happy creatures.
What a wonderful way to usher in the season! See you next year!