GRANVILLE-As the leaves start to turn color and there is crispness in the air, the feeling of fall is also captured as townspeople host the annual Granville Harvest Fair during the Columbus Day weekend.
“I’ve lived in town all of my life and this event brings together friends and neighbors to celebrate the fall foliage season with visitors,” said Linda Blakesley, one of many collaborators who ensure that visitors will enjoy their time visiting the idyllic town. Blakesley is joined by volunteers including Ann LeClair, Carol Jones, Karen McLaughlin, Jane Canfield and Meg Putnam who are working behind the scenes at several venues including the Old Meeting House, Drum Shop Museum, Town Green, Granville Federated Church, and the Village School. Also, Gloria Knoener, Isabelle Lacrosse and Karen J. Carpenter have been instrumental in encouraging participation for children, teens and adults in the scarecrow contest.
During an interview at the quaint Granville Country Store, Blakesley said there is something for every member of the family at the fair.
Now in its 35th year, the harvest fair is planned Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday from noon to 5 p.m., and Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“Shuttle buses will take visitors to each site and there is parking available at several sites including the Village School, Town Hall, and Verizon building,” said Blakesley, adding that at some of these sites a donation is requested which will be earmarked for local organizations including the Council on Aging and Boy Scouts.
For visitors, expect to spend several hours at the fair if you take in all of the sights and “smells” of the event, including at the 1802 Meeting House. For starters, on the lawn of the Meeting House will be entries of the annual Scarecrow Contest, supported by a grant from the Granville Cultural Council, and a display of vintage tractors. Once inside, expect to have your senses enticed by slices of hot apple pie topped with cheese or one of the homemade soups made by the women of the town. Soup options will change each day but expect to find selections including chili, cheeseburger chowder and beef stew. Also, a variety of crafters will be exhibiting their wares as well as members of the Granville Quilt & Needlework Guild who will display a variety of quilts and conduct its annual quilt raffle, this year titled “Friendship Quilt.” Tickets for the quilt raffle are $1 each or a book of six tickets for $5. Blakesley noted that the winner does not need to be present to win.
At the Noble & Cooley Center for Historic Preservation, 42 Water St., visitors will be welcome to tours on the hour of the museum which preserves and incorporates the rich history of Granville and the surrounding areas. The museum is housed within the historic buildings of the Noble & Cooley drum factory, and the site offers a unique opportunity to experience Yankee ingenuity as it impacted manufacturing from the mid-1800’s forward. Also on the grounds, the Westfield River Brewery will conduct a beer garden featuring several selections including Octoberfest, Pumpkin and Session IPA on tap, the Crepe Teahouse will offer lunch and dessert crepes, tea, coffee, and water, and Patton’s Catering will sell sausage and pepper grinders, hamburgers, hot dogs, chili and corn chowder. Additionally, blacksmith and pottery demonstrations are planned throughout the weekend, as well as small engine displays, and the Forest Park Zoo program will be conducted on Saturday only.
At the Granville Library, a “giant” book sale is planned, as well as a raffle with gift baskets filled with goodies for children, teens and adults, and a hooked rug made by local artisan Sally Killips. Also, more than 18 vendors will be selling a wide range of gift ideas from beauty products, soy candles and holiday decorations, to signature chocolates, hand-painted furniture and wreaths.
The Library Club will also be selling coffee, lemonade, water, doughnuts and baked goods.
More food offerings await visitors too at the Granville Federated Church, including Thai food by Boonie Pawandee; organic homemade breads and turnovers by Sandra Dixon; gourmet cupcakes by Valerie Hansen; and Polish plates, baked potatoes and cheeseburger chowder from Michael’s Kitchen. Also, church members will be selling baked goods and pies, hamburgers, hot dogs, soda, water, and cotton candy. More than 16 exhibitors are expected to fill the church hall with a plethora of unique items ranging from jewelry, birdhouses and bird feeders, and quilts, to garden art, walking sticks, and handmade wood products. For visitors who park at the church, all money raised benefits church programs.
On the Town Green, a variety of free programs will be offered throughout the weekend, ranging from jousting for kids to a performance by the newly formed Whip City Witches on Monday around 1 p.m. Also, Blakesley expects close to 40 vendors featuring a variety of crafts including refinished antique trunks and furniture. The Lions Club will also be on hand selling fried dough, Hilltown Pork will be selling a specialty item, pulled pork sandwiches, and the Gran-Val Scoop will serve its homemade ice cream (current seasonal flavors include Ginger, Pumpkin, Apple Crisp and Chocolate Cinnamon).
Also on the Green will be members of the Granville Police Department selling raffle tickets for a 32-caliber semi-automatic, Seecamp pistol. Chief Scott L. Flebotte had stopped into the Granville Country Store with the details of the raffle.
“Purchasers of tickets at $10 each need to be age 21 or over,” said Flebotte. “The raffle ticket purchaser does not need a valid license to carry (LTC) but only a person with a valid LTC can take possession of the firearm.”
The winner will receive a letter with the certificate which will contain instructions on how to redeem the certificate, said Flebotte, adding that any transfer fees incurred by the winner’s local FFL dealer are the responsibility of the winner.
“The Granville Police Department is not responsible for lost or stolen certificates,” he said. “This note is printed on the ticket. If the winner doesn’t redeem the certificate upon receipt, it is the winner’s responsibility to keep the certificate safe as they would any valuable.”
Blakesley added that also on the Green, the Granville-Tolland Dollars for Scholars Committee will be sponsoring a raffle to support college undergraduate scholarships. Tickets are $5 each or five tickets for $20 and the prize is an 8” Samsung Galaxy Tab A tablet valued at $200. The drawing is planned Monday at 4 p.m. and the winner does not need to be present to win.
At the Village School, Blakesley also expects more than 40 vendors inside and on the lawn and the kitchen will be open selling a variety of offerings.
For visitors who have also heard of the Granville Country Store, “home of the famous Granville cheese,” there is much more than cheese to enjoy too, from taking in the delightful shelves of canned fruits and relishes, maple syrup and gifts, to a food cart just outside the store that will sell macaroni and cheese among other deli specialties.
“We hope that visitors far and wide visit our friendly community during the Columbus Day weekend,” said Blakesley. “Our old-fashioned fair is a true community experience.”
For more information on any of the weekend’s events, call the Town Hall at (413) 357-8585.