You’re never too young to learn about your hometown and that’s why Michelle Cull and her husband brought their infant son to the Harvest Fair in Hightstown last weekend.
“We live pretty close by and we want to introduce our son to his hometown. Jackson is 3 months old,” Cull said at the fair, which was held Oct. 6. “So far, we have seen the fire truck. I think he likes looking around.”
It was the first time the Cull family had taken in all of the sights and sounds of the Harvest Fair.
It was also the first time the Walkowsky family, Steve Walkowsky and his wife, Yluska Walkowsky, attended the Harvest Fair with their two daughters. The family lives in East Windsor.
“We came here for fun. We try to do different things on the weekend,” Steve Walkowsky said.
“We are glad that’s what we did,” his wife added.
There were certainly enough activities for the Cull family, the Walkowsky family and the dozens of other families who wandered up and down the middle of South Main Street – which was closed to traffic during the fair – as they checked out the vendors’ booths or watched the young entertainers who signed up to show off their skills.
The young dancers of A Place to Dance drew onlookers as they demonstrated their skills near the First Baptist Church. Their dance routines drew plenty of applause from the visitors.
There was a wide assortment of vendors who featured everything from arts and crafts to jewelry. One booth offered soccer balls, soccer team T-shirts and key chains in Spanish.
While many businesses set up booths to let the public know about them, such as the Dance Corner, A Place to Dance, Tax Accounting Experts, CMB Karate and Brazen Martial Arts, there were many more nonprofit groups that had set up shop.
The Knights of Columbus had a booth on South Main Street, as did the Knights of Pythias. SciCore Academy, which is a private school for science and the humanities, set up shop to explain its mission.
NJ Veg had a booth dedicated to spreading the word about a vegan diet – one without any animal products, such as eggs, milk, cheese and honey. A vegetarian diet, by contrast, excludes meat, fish and poultry.
There were children’s activities, too, an inflatable bounce house and an inflatable slide. The young ones could paint a pumpkin or a birdhouse to take home. There was even a dunk tank where a youngster, or oldster, could dump a football player in the water.
Sand art, mixing colored sand in a small glass container, and a game of chance that required tossing a ping pong ball into a small water-filled container to win a goldfish also were popular attractions.
The dunk tank, set up by the Hightstown High School Rams football team to raise money for the RISE food pantry, drew some participants. RISE is a nonprofit group that helps those in need in Hightstown, East Windsor and the surrounding area.
A football player sat in the dunk tank, waiting for someone to throw a ball and hit the lever that would dump him into the pool – not an especially appealing prospect on a cool autumn day.
“OK, Chase, let’s go. Chase, you’ve got three more shots. Oh, so close,” said one of the parents who was manning the dunk tank as he encouraged 5-year-old Chase Wheeler to toss a ball.
“One more, one more, one more,” he said, as Chase threw the ball and hit the target, dumping the football player into the tank with a big splash.
And what would a fair be without food?
Food trucks set up shop on Stockton Street, which was closed to traffic, to offer everything from cupcakes to Puerto Rican food and Italian food. There were also barbeque pork sandwiches and for the less adventurous, hot dogs, several varieties of hamburgers, French fries, and sausage and pepper sandwiches.
But for all, it was a good time and a good chance to get to know Hightstown.