HOPEWELL: Annual Harvest Fair brings ‘country fun’ for all

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Three decades of family fun will return to the Hopewell Elementary School grounds later this month, with the advent of this year’s Hopewell Harvest Fair.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24, attendees from the Hopewell Valley region and beyond will be able to enjoy a litany of activities for all ages.
With a focus on some of the more rural aspects of the area, this year’s event will feature “old-fashioned country fun,” including a bake-off, homegrown vegetable displays, a straw maze to explore and country games like sack races.
“The planning committee has been hard at work to bring the Hopewell Harvest Fair together,” Hopewell Harvest Fair Planning Committee chairperson Janice Schroeder said. “Attending the fair is a tradition for so many people in Hopewell, and we can’t wait to welcome everyone.”
For the kids, Ms. Schroeder said this year’s festival would have pony and wagon rides, a petting zoo, inflatables, make-your-own scarecrows, face painting, sand art, games and a host of other activities.
A live scavenger hunt will take place on the fairgrounds to help “Find Freddy.”
People with a more competitive side will be able to participate in a handful of contests. Kids’ art and LEGO submissions, based on a number of selected themes, will be judged during the event. Local shutterbugs will also be able to display their pictures as part of this year’s photography contest.
Pooches with a flair for the fashionable will strut their stuff in this year’s “doggie dress-up” competition, while local bakers will bring their culinary confections for the annual bake-off competition.
For information on how to participate in this year’s contests, visit http://www.hopewellharvestfair.org/event_info/contests/.
Throughout the day, live music will be performed by a number of special guests, including the Hopewell Valley Regional High School Black & Gold Band, the north Jersey “old school and contemporary country band” Due South and the rock ‘n’ roll outfit from Lambertville known as The Brodegas.
A farmers’ market will also be on site, with farms and vendors offering up flowers and produce from local growers.
In an effort to promote businesses and non-profit organizations that call Hopewell their home, organizers said there would be a special Business and Exhibitors Alley where attendees could learn about those entities. Of particular note will be businesses and organizations aimed at sustainability and environmentally conscious efforts.
According to event organizers, the Hopewell Harvest Fair has been a fundraiser for a community grant program that provides support for nonprofit organizations in the area. A percentage of all proceeds from the fair go directly to the grant program.
Since its inception, officials said the fair has raised and distributed over $200,000 to qualifying local groups.
Nonprofit organizations wishing to apply for 2016 grants can now find applications at the Hopewell Public Library or online at http://www.hopewellharvestfair.org/community-grants/.
Applications are due by Oct. 19.
Ms. Schroeder said the board of trustees, as well as the planning committee, agree that the fair would not be possible without the support of sponsors the Princeton Area Community Foundation, PNC Bank and Hopewell Memorial Home.
Additional sponsors include the following businesses: Capital Health System, Hopewell Lambertville Eye Associates, Mark W. McDonough Orthodontist, Pennington Quality Market, Trap Rock Industries LLC., Baxter Construction, Franco’s Pizzeria, Hunterdon Family & Sports Medicine at Hopewell Valley, Lear and Pannepacker, LLP, Stellitano Heating and Air Conditioning, The Village Learning Center, DeSimone Orthodontics, Hopewell Museum, Kooltronic, Mid-State Equipment Company, Muentener Builders, Pennington Montessori School and Total Home Manager.
To learn more about this year’s fair, look for the free printed almanac around town, visit www.hopewellharvestfair.org or email [email protected].
Anyone looking to volunteer for a two-hour shift at the fair should email [email protected]. Students are welcome to participate.