Is anyone else looking forward to Harvest Festival 2019?
We're three weeks out from the 105th annual community celebration. The Chamber's special events committee has put together a fun lineup of All-American activities that run from Thursday evening, Sept. 19, through Sunday, Sept. 22. It's certainly going to be different this year with Ehmen Park back as the center of attention. I hope that has stirred some excitement.
The old standards take their traditional place in the event list: Dog-N-Jog on Thursday, parade on Saturday followed by lunch at the First United Methodist Church. And because it's been so popular the last couple of years, we're bringing back the Party in the Park from 5-7 pm on Friday. There's no school that day, so we're hoping to attract a bunch of kids and families to the park for games and food and fun. A new twist to Party in the Park is a couple of activities that are being hosted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension in cooperation with the Gothenburg Early Childhood Learning Coalition. "Not a Box" and "Block Party" are designed to get kids using their imagination. GECLC has been collecting boxes and tubes of all shapes and sizes for kids to create with. If you're wanting to participate as a business or organization and you haven't been contacted yet, give Casey Madsen a call at Learning Adventures Child Care Center, 537-5194.
We're also bringing back some ever-popular activities from years past. Arts in the Park will fill Ehmen Park on Saturday from 11 am to 3 pm. There is already a long list of vendors of all kinds, and they are still coming in. There will be plenty to see, along with food, music and performances by Gymnastic West and Dance Centre students. We're also giving bed races a try again. This was hilarious fun back in the mid-2000's. This time around, we're supplying the beds to make it easier to get involved. We just need teams of three to make the beds and then push them the length of the block. Themes, fun team names and costumes are encouraged. We'll give prizes for the fastest finish and the Best of Show. Pick up registration forms at the Chamber or download them online.
The Lions Club will serve breakfast in the park on Sunday and the Harvest Festival car show will also return, filling Ehmen Park from 11 am to 3 pm. We're expecting 100 vehicles or more, so there's surely something of interest for everyone. We'll have food in the park and live music by Rascal Martinez from noon to 2 pm. Bring the family and your lawn chairs for the day.
In addition to the familiar activities, we've also added a few new ones. The Gothenburg MOPS group will serve breakfast burritos on wheels before the parade. They'll be peddling their wares up and down Lake Avenue as well as in the park. At 1 pm on Saturday, Stone Hearth Estates is hosting Golden Games in the park. This will be a variety of activities that older folks can participate in, but I'm sure they'll let people of any age join. There's no pre-registration, just show up and have a good time.
After the bed races, head down to 10th Street in front of the Sun Theatre. There will be a cornhole tournament to benefit the Gothenburg Legion Baseball program, a beer garden, food and music beginning at 4 pm. Cornhole is drawing a lot of interest. Get your registration forms at the Chamber office or the Sun Theatre.
And one more new activity is the YMCA co-ed softball tournament at the Four-Plext on Sunday afternoon. Get a group of friends or co-workers who may or may not be athletically inclined and make a day of it. There are plenty of laughs during slow-pitch softball and the more teams we have, the more fun it will be.
The Chamber of Commerce is the hub of information for Harvest Festival. If you've got a question or a suggestion (or even a complaint), give us a call at 537-3505.
See you in the park!
Click HERE to get more information on individual events or to download event registration forms.
is the Executive Director of the Community Development Office, which encompasses the Gothenburg Chamber of Commerce and the Gothenburg Improvement Company.