Historical Society to host 48th Harvest Festival

Courtesy of Greene County Historical Society Museum

The Greene County Historical Society Museum will host their 48th annual Harvest Festival Saturday, Oct. 12, to Sunday, Oct. 13. The events will start at 10 a.m. both days and will commence at 5 p.m. 

After 48 years of Greene County hosting the annual Harvest Festival, people still look forward to coming year after year. Sam Gandy, Greene County Historical Society event manager, said this is because it has become a tradition. 

 Gandy has attended the festival since she was ten years old and hasn’t missed a year yet. With her new position as the event manager, Gandy has had the opportunity of assisting with the planning of this year’s event.

Gandy said there’s going to be an array of activities this year, including live entertainment, music, food, museum tours, vendors, demonstrations and many children’s activities. 

“We got a lot going on this year,” Gandy said. “[There’s] a bunch of kids’ activities … we have our wonderful Civil War reenactment, both days. And prior to that we’re going to have a canon demonstration.”  

This year, there was a change in leadership within the Greene County Historical Society Museum. One of those positions included Gandy’s position as the event manager, while another notable change is the executive director. 

“Matt Cumberledge, our executive director, started in January. So, he has been revitalizing the museum and reorganizing,” Gandy said.

She believes this is a good thing. 

“It’s a brand new set of eyes, coming to the museum and bringing new ideas to the table.”

One of the new ideas Cumberledge has come up with is to emphasize the family aspect of the community at the Harvest Festival. To accomplish this, Gandy said they added a lot of new activities for kids at this year’s festival. 

“A lot of the kid’s activities are new. We’re trying to revitalize the family community aspect. So, we really wanted to focus on having more kids’ activities this year and I think we nailed it.”

Some of the new activities include a costume contest, pumpkin bowling, decorate your own pumpkin, a wooden face cutout picture stand and book readings from Uncle Dave’s books. 

Gandy said adding various children’s activities is not the only new thing they added this year.

“On Sunday, we have our first annual pumpkin pie baking contest. So, people sign up, they bring a homemade pumpkin pie and we judge it based on appearance and taste,” Gandy said.

If the pumpkin pie baking contest is not an incentive to go to this year’s festival, there’s also live music from an assortment of bands. 

“On Saturday, from noon to 1 p.m. we have Soldiers and Sons and from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., we have the Masons Acoustic Music. On Sunday, from noon to 1 p.m. we have the Band Witness and from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. we have Rustic Street,” Gandy said.

Gandy said the Harvest Festival is not like other fall festivals that are also happening around this time. It’s especially unique to Waynesburg. 

“It’s different than your normal fall festival. It has more of a historical aspect to it,” Gandy said. “Not only do we have [local] vendors but we also have a Civil War reenactment, we have a Native American reenactment, we have a person demonstrating blacksmithing, a person demonstrating pottery … we have a lot of other things that you just don’t get at other fall festivals. So, it kinda has that local history flavor to it.” 

George Blystone, caretaker of the Greene County Historical Society Museum, hasn’t missed a year in the past 40 years. He believes history plays a big role in the festival and makes it stand out from other festivals.

“Because it’s history. Anybody that has never been here for the festival has been missing out. There’s a lot of stuff to do but there’s also just so much stuff in the museum to see and learn a lot,” Blystone said. 

Blystone said people should attend because you get a closer look at the history of Waynesburg and you have the opportunity to get hands-on experience. 

“It’s just a lot of fun stuff, it’s hands-on, and that’s why I think people really enjoy seeing, they can come touch something, a piece of history.”

Daily admission for the event is $5. Kids ages 10 and under are free. 

For additional information you can call 724-627-3204 or email mattwc@greenecountyhistory.org