Welcome autumn with Harvest Moon Celebration

By: Sherri Kolade | Farmington Press | Published September 5, 2017

 Farmington Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Kate Knight speaks during the pep rally.

Farmington Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Kate Knight speaks during the pep rally.

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FARMINGTON HILLS — Kate Knight, executive director of the Farmington Downtown Development Authority, is ready to usher in fall and the annual Harvest Moon Celebration.

“I feel passionate about fall festivals,” Knight said, adding that the DDA-hosted Harvest Moon Celebration enjoys a great turnout because everyone is home from summer vacations. 

“Everyone’s back in school — the weather is cooler. It’s a great time to get downtown.”

The 13th annual Harvest Moon Celebration will be held Sept. 21-23 at the Sundquist Pavilion in Riley Park. 

The festival starts Sept. 21 with live music by Northville Folk, plus artisan beer, wine and harvest fare 6-11 p.m. that day, according to a press release. More than 50 craft beers will be available from brewers throughout the Great Lakes region, and more than 30 wines from around the world will be available, according to the release. 

The Harvest Moon Dance, with live music by Bugs Beddow and the Good Stuff, will be held 6-11 p.m. Sept. 22, according to a press release. On the same day, a Taste of Farmington, which will feature food from local restaurants and businesses, will be featured to celebrate Farmington Downtown Development Authority restaurants.

The Farmington Jaycees will host a pancake breakfast 8:30-11:30 a.m. Sept. 23 — a tradition of Harvest Moon.

“So many people look forward to the celebration. Harvest Moon just really adds to the wonderful community offerings found in Farmington,” Knight said in the release. 

She added during a phone interview that the event has been a “proven success” because it has grown every year — it started off with dozens of attendees the first year, and now it has grown to over 3,000 people. 

The Harvest Moon Celebration began when a group of individuals created a small farmers market — now the Farmington Farmers and Artisans Market —  to celebrate the Walter E. Sundquist Pavilion opening. That is when the Harvest Moon Dance was created. About 40 people came out and celebrated. 

Farmington City Manager Executive Assistant Melissa Andrade said that the event is her favorite because of its volunteer camaraderie, creative ideas and more.

“It is so much fun to set up the event with a group of volunteers — absolutely amazing people,” Andrade said.

“The 13th annual Harvest Moon Celebration would not be possible without the assistance of so many amazing volunteers,” Knight said in a press release. “Those interested in volunteering ... should RSVP to volunteer@DowntownFarmington.org or call (248) 474-5500.”

Andrade said that the bond between Harvest Moon Celebration volunteers is a strong one that starts at a farm, where volunteers cut down corn stalks to decorate the downtown.

“Between 20 and 30 people go to (this) farm with machetes and cut down the corn. Then a different group of volunteers (the) next day set them up around town,” she said, adding that over 100 volunteers help with the festival. “They’re excited that it’s fall — excited about the fire pits and everything; everyone is in really great spirits and has a lot of fun. They (volunteers) all have something different to offer.”

For more information, go to www.DowntownFarmington.org.

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