Debbie and Joan began working with the festival three years ago and have made great strides in drawing both local people and tourists to Franklin for the festival.
“Franklin is an all around pretty place to be and the Harvest Moon Festival is a fun, family oriented event,” Debbie said.
The purpose of the festival is to promote Franklin merchants and kick-off the holiday shopping season. All of the businesses on Main Street will be open and offering sales and specials during the festival.
Proceeds from the festival will be used by the Franklin Merchants Association to furnish decorations for downtown Franklin.
Some new things to look forward to this year are:
—The Chez Hope Pumpkin Patch. For $2, children can pick out a pumpkin from the patch, decorate it and have it judged. All proceeds from the Pumpkin Patch will go to Chez Hope’s Children’s Services.
—Photographer Crystal Young will be on hand to take pictures of both kids and adults with an antique tractor and a harvest themed background. She will also be taking candid shots throughout the festival that will be available for purchase.
—An educational display by the West St. Mary High School FFA.
—The Franklin Line Dancers will perform.
Visitors can also expect to see several returning events throughout the day including:
—Annual Car and Motorcycle Show. This year’s Car and Motorcycle Show promises to be a special treat with many more participants expected as well as several dragsters and even lawnmowers! Prizes will be awarded for first place, second place, third place, best of show; longest distance and club participation. Winners will be announced at 4 p.m.
—The annual Chili Cook-Off. Open to everyone and still accepting entries until cooking time begins at 7 a.m. on Saturday. Prizes will be awarded for first place, second place and third place and chili will be sold for $3 a bowl beginning at 10 a.m.
—Arts and crafts vendors. Vendors will line Main Street to offer their wares. Some of the many items for sale will be crocheted items, bottle cap jewelry, bows, copper embossing and embroidery.
—Farmer’s Market. Located on Willow Street, several items will be available for purchase including fresh produce, baked goods, homemade canned goods and hand crafted items.
—Games, fun jumps, face painting and glamour make-up, a rock climbing wall and more fun activities for children.
—The presentation of Miss Harvest Moon Festival IV and her court. During the opening ceremonies at 9 a.m., the Queen and her Royal Court will be introduced on the Columbian Chemicals Stage. Several visiting queens will also be on hand throughout the day to greet visitors.
—Souvenirs: Festival T-shirts and posters will be on sale at the souvenir booth.
—Good food. Several different types of food will be available at the Food Court including jambalaya, po-boys, snowballs, red beans and rice, fried catfish, fried pickles and just about every fried food imaginable, even fried Oreos!
—Great music. Five different bands will be performing on two different stages throughout the day. With music varying from classic rock to country, there’s a little something for everyone.
“The festival will be jam-packed with fun with something to do for all ages,” Joan said. “I like to think of it as a big block party.”