47th annual Harvest Homecoming to begin on Oct. 4


Craft and Booth Days are Oct. 9 to Oct. 12 on Market, Pearl, & Bank St. Photo by Bob Murphy

Kate Hatter

The 47th annual Harvest Homecoming festival, featuring a myriad of unique events that celebrate local history and culture, will run from Oct. 4 through Oct. 12 in New Albany, Ind.

Harvest Homecoming, formerly known as the Pumpkin Festival, originated as a three-day event, but now lasts nine days and includes over 50 attractions such as a corn hole tournament, concerts, pageants, a tractor pull and a dog show.

Vendor booths where patrons can buy  food, beauty products, handmade dresses and crafts, will be open from Oct. 9 to Oct. 12.

The festival itself is free to the public, but some individual events will cost money.

This year’s theme will be “Harvest of Honor” in honor of the United States Armed Forces and First Responders.

The Purdue Pumpkin Chunking Competition is a new Harvest Homecoming event this year. Eighteen teams will compete to see which homemade device will chunk a pumpkin the furthest on Oct. 7 at 6 p.m. at Purdue College of Technology.

The festival will also feature $40 helicopter rides at the foot of Bank St. from Oct. 9 to Oct. 12. Riders will fly over the Louisville skyline, Downtown New Albany, the festival grounds and other areas.

J.D. Shelburne, Rachel Timberlake, From Paris and Jake & Elwood and the Boys and other musical groups are scheduled to perform throughout the festival. Performances on the riverfront will cost $5 per person.

Harvest Homecoming Festival, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that organizes Harvest Homecoming with the the year-round help of sponsors and about 400 volunteers.

“We want to make sure we reach out to all members of the community,” said Polly Niemeier, Vice President of Harvest Homecoming Festival, Inc. “That’s why we have, for example, a baby crawl and bingo for people in nursing homes. We try to make sure we are covering all of the age groups and different groups within the community.”

The Tourism Bureau of the New Albany Chamber of Commerce expects 300,000 people to attend based on past years’ data.