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Pianos, parks and players: Hightstown’s Hometown Harvest Fair a hit (with multiple photos)

Hightstown High School athlete Shivan Pandya takes his turn in the dunk tank at the annual Hometown Harvest Festival Oct. 7.

By Mike Morsch, Regional editor
Highststown High School football coach Ethan Jeros and the Rams Football Parents Club are always looking for opportunities for the players to grow together as a team.
For the past few years, that has included submerging the players in an outdoor dunk tank. In October.
Fortunately for the Rams’ players, the early fall temperatures were favorable enough last weekend that they could comfortably discard the helmets and shoulder pads in favor of swimming shorts at the 15th annual Hometown Harvest Fair Oct. 7 in Hightstown.
It was the third time the HHS Rams have manned the dunk tank at the fair. Not only has it served as a team-building exercise, but it’s also for a good cause.
More than 50 football players, from the varsity, junior varsity and freshman teams, volunteered to the sit in the dunk tank during the fair.
The team raised money to be used to purchase fruits and vegetables for the Rise Food Pantry, which distributes food to help 500 families each month. Rise is preparing to give out approximately 400 Thanksgiving baskets to local families this year, ensuring that those in the community can enjoy the holiday season. This year, $845 and 45 canned goods were collected at the dunk dank.
The players will continue the tradition of working with Rise by volunteering their time at the food pantry this Thanksgiving where they will flex their muscles lifting the hundreds of Thanksgiving turkeys.
That was just one of the activities available for fairgoers at the annual celebration. This year the event attracted approximately 200 vendors featuring crafts, jewelry, collectibles and more as well as an all-new food truck section along South Main Street in Hightstown.
“It’s was an exciting time for the community to welcome thousands of fairgoers to our historic town,” said Trish Egan, Harvest Fair committee chairwoman. “A few of the vendors mentioned that this was one of the most well-organized town fairs they have ever been to.”
Children were treated to numerous activities including bounce houses, games, face and pumpkin painting. Food trucks were kept busy serving up the likes of barbecue, cupcakes, lobster macaroni and cheese, sausage sandwiches and empanadas.
There were two stages of live music, featured Backseat Driver and Funk Point 5 on one stage and local talent like Angel Agymen and Lara Koppel on the other stage.
As has been the past custom, all the ducks were sold and the day ended with the Ducky Derby race.
Among the attractions this year was the Pianos in the Park initiative, a collaboration between two Hightstown commissions: cultural arts and parks and recreation.
In an effort that combined public art with the power of music, pianos were placed and Memorial Park and Association Park and fairgoers were encouraged to stop and play the pianos while rediscovering the local parks. The pianos were donated by the Hightstown Historical Society and Meadow Lakes at Springpoint.

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