YORK, Maine — Despite Mother Nature’s best effort, people still came out for the 34th annual Harvestfest.
With temperatures in the 40s and a steady rain all morning, hundreds of people arrived at Harvestfest.
The dreary conditions were not a deterrent for Scott and Emma McDonald, who traveled from Texas to attend Harvestfest. “We wanted to come to a Maine fall festival,” Scott said. “We drove 2,100 miles for this and I’m looking forward to eating some warm food in this weather.”
Harvestfest is a family-style fair put on annually by the York Region Chamber of Commerce. More than 100 vendors arrived early to set up their displays as entertainers got ready for the day. The Don Campbell Band kicked things off at 9 a.m. playing under the big tent in the ball field. They played a mix of original and family-friendly cover songs that could be heard throughout the fair.
“We’ve been playing at Harvestfest for 10 to 12 years now,” Don Campbell said.
Attendance was low in the early hours, most likely due to the poor weather.
“The crowd is kind of sad today,” said Susan Littley, the chamber’s administrative assistant. “But there’s still people here.”
Littley said the Mad Science of Maine vendor and Fat Back Cured Meats were two new attractions this year.
The weather actually helped some vendors. Janice Violette of Violette’s Mittens has held the same spot at Harvestfest the past five years and enjoyed a successful day.
“This weather has been great for mittens,” she said. “It was really crappy setting up, but the people still come out.”
Larry Orvik traveled from Vermont with a friend to attend Harvestfest. “We come every couple of years,” Orvik said. “Talking to the vendors and seeing a lot of the woodworking vendors is my favorite part.”
Once the rain stopped, the horse-drawn carriage rides finally began. Sponsored by York Hospital, fairgoers could ride in a carriage pulled by two horses from Meadow Creek Farm.
Just inside the entrance of York’s Wild Kingdom was Kidsfest, a portion of Harvestfest geared toward children of all ages. There were miniature train rides around the park, a Mad Science of Maine booth where kids could try hands-on displays of science, pumpkin carving, face painting, as well as live music and storytelling.
Anthony and Isabella Parrotta put their creativity to work at the pumpkin carving station. Isabella worked on a York-themed pumpkin while her brother focused on carving a large pumpkin that appeared to be eating a smaller pumpkin.