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Hermantown Historical Society hosts family-friendly Harvest Fest

The Hermantown Historical Society will host its fifth annual Hermantown Harvest Fest on Sept. 7, at the site of the old city hall. The festival will include four live music groups, children's activities, and more than 80 vendors specializing in a...

Hermantown Harvest Fest
Thirty-eight vintage tractors will be on display in honor of Hermantown's history as a farming community. (Photo by Delaine Carlson)

The Hermantown Historical Society will host its fifth annual Hermantown Harvest Fest on Sept. 7, at the site of the old city hall.

The festival will include four live music groups, children's activities, and more than 80 vendors specializing in arts, crafts, and food.

"We've got hundreds of people stepping up here to make a nice outing for families," said Bob Swanstrom, chair of the Hermantown Harvest Fest and co-director of the Hermantown Historical Society.

Vendors include artisans selling candles, soaps, maple syrup, woven rugs, pottery, bird houses, and home and cabin furnishings.

Swanstrom has distributed 550 posters marketing the event throughout the Northland, including driving to Moose Lake, the Iron Range, Hibbing, and Superior to personally post flyers and invite people to come to Harvest Fest.

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"We want to invite our Northland neighbors to come to Hermantown for a family destination event," said Swanstrom.

The Harvest Fest is a fundraiser for the Hermantown Historical Society. Entrance fees are $5 for families, $2 per adult, $1 for ages 6-18, and children under the age of 5 will get in free. Off-street parking will be available. The Old City Hall is located at 5255 Maple Grove Road and the event runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Attractions for children are included in the price of admission and will include a miniature train ride on the R.W.H. Slowline railroad, hay rides, and face painting. In addition, Terri Hagenah-Wingness, Art Specialist in the Hermantown School District, will help children paint baby pumpkins that they can take home with them.

"Hermantown, historically, was a farming community," said Sandy Reinke, director of the Hermantown Historical Society. "Social gatherings revolved around family and festivals. We are replicating the festivals that they used to have to bring people together."

To honor Hermantown's tradition of farming, antique tractors will be available for viewing and a blacksmith and wooden tool maker will demonstrate their old-world crafts for attendees.

Historical Society displays will depict Hermantown in its earlier days. New displays this year will show early farming tools and an Eagle Scout project featuring genealogy and family history.

"We're growing in wonderful ways. A lot of thought has gone into this," said Swanstrom.

Hermantown High School youth are also helping with the festivities. Captains for the fall sports teams will sit in a student-run dunk tank in half-hour blocks. The fee to dunk an athlete will be $1 for three tries. The Hermantown Volunteer Fire Company will fill the dunk tank.

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"Everyone's pitching in and that's the essence of this," said Swanstrom.

The stage will showcase live music acts throughout the day. The Beaconaires will start off the festivities with polka music at 9 a.m. Ripple Effect, an eight-woman barbershop choir who sang at the festival for the first time last year, will perform at 11:15 a.m.

Jim Grussendorf and Company will play bluegrass music 12:15 to 2:15 p.m., and the gospel group Just Friends from Esko will perform at 2:30 p.m. The day will end with the playing of the National Anthem.

"Harvest Fest is a family event. It's just clean, good fun for the family," said Swanstrom.

For more information on the festival, contact Bob Swanstrom, 729-8058, or Sandy Reinke, 624-3040.

Related Topics: AGRICULTUREHERMANTOWN
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