Threatened Harvest Fest emerges bigger, better than ever

This year's Cromwell Harvest Fest almost didn't happen. After many years of successful events, the stream of volunteers willing to step up to the plate and help organize it had begun to dry up, and there simply wasn't enough man- (or woman-) powe...

This year’s Cromwell Harvest Fest almost didn’t happen.

After many years of successful events, the stream of volunteers willing to step up to the plate and help organize it had begun to dry up, and there simply wasn’t enough man- (or woman-) power to pull it off any longer.

The locals were reluctant to let it die, however, after so many years of happy memories. And so, a group of them decided to try a brand new tack. They organized into the Cromwell Area Community Club (CACC), held an organizational charter meeting on March 20 with 16 members present, and continued to meet on the second Thursday of each month throughout the summer.

The CACC planned fundraisers to promote sponsorship of the various Harvest Fest activities, including the raffles, the steak fry, and several more, and they continued to recruit new members as they went along.

The philosophy was simple: “Many hands make light work.” Those who may have been reluctant to volunteer for so large a task on their own were encouraged by being able to spread the responsibility around as part of a much larger group.


The success of their efforts should be very apparent at this weekend’s Harvest Fest.

“This weekend should be a really BIG event with the renewed efforts of so many Cromwell area folks,” commented member Jennie Hanson.

The Harvest Fest weekend starts off with a steak fry from 4:40-7 p.m., sponsored by the CACC. Then satisfy your sweet tooth by topping your dinner off with ice cream served up by members of the Family Pride 4-H Club.

At 7 p.m., show your home-town pride by joining the cheering section at the Cromwell-Wright football game, as the local team takes on Kelliher-Northome at the high school field.

Registration for the Harvest Fest 5K Run-Walk will open at 7:30 a.m. Saturday at the Pavilion, with the race to follow at 8 a.m. Entry fee is $5 and prizes will be awarded, including a prize for the runner/walker with the most “Cromwell town spirit.” The event is open to all ages.

Lineup for the big Harvest Fest parade will get underway at 9:30 a.m. at the school, followed by the parade at 10:30 a.m. Prizes will be provided by Northview Bank. Grand Marshals will be Clarence (Junie) and Ruth Smith. A Kiddie/Bike/Doggie Parade, sponsored by Villa Court, will take place as part of the main event.

Your may find your eyes are bigger than your stomach at the extravagant Potluck Smorgasbord, to be held from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Proceeds will go to the Playground Equipment Fund.

Beginning at 11 a.m. and running all afternoon will be a flea market and vendors, a Rat Rod and Motorcycle Show featuring flame throwers and muffler raps, a volleyball tournament, a horseshoe tournament, a bouncy house sponsored by Lakes Sanitary and ice cream served by Family Pride 4-H Club.


No festival goers will go home hungry, with a full contingent of corn dogs, mini-donuts and cheese curds on the menu, as well as hot beef, pulled pork, hamburgers and hot dogs, with proceeds going to the Kaleb Anderson Memorial Fund.

United Methodist Church will host a dunk tank (weather permitting) during the afternoon hours, the National Guard will sponsor a climbing wall, and the Cromwell Volunteer Fire Department and Ambulance will administer free blood pressure checks.

A log rolling demonstration will be sponsored by United Methodist Church from noon to 2 p.m., and the kids won’t want to miss the fun at the Pedal to the Medal state-sanctioned tractor pull at 1 p.m. All kids ages 4 to 11 are welcome to participate, and registration begins at 11 a.m.

The Kids Coin Dig for ages 10 and under will take place immediately following the tractor pull, sponsored by Keith Clark Excavating, Koivisto Trucking and Craig Harp Excavating.

Also at 1 p.m. will be demonstrations by the Cromwell Fire Department. The Y.O.T. Dance will be held from 1-4 p.m., with live music by the Chmielewski Funtime Band. Admission is free, and dancers are encouraged to bring a donation for the local food shelf.

Beginning at 3 p.m., bring your tractor all on its own, or hook on your favorite implement begin - everyone’s going for a drive in the Harvest Fest Tractor Ride!

Competition is expected to be lively at the annual Singles Cribbage Tournament at the Sno-Gopher building, beginning at 3 p.m. and sponsored by the Cromwell Sno-Gophers and the CACC. Entry fee is $10.

The afternoon will also include music, fun and games outdoors at the bar on Saturday afternoon, and there will be dancing to live music at the Pavilion featuring “The Riverhill Rangers” from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. At 11 p.m. during the dance, the Harvest Festival Raffle will take place, sponsored by the CACC. Prizes will include a handmade quilt by the Cardinal Quilting Guild, $100 in cash from Federated Co-op, $100 in cash from Como Oil & Propane and a $50 gift certificate from Farmers Co-op in Wright.


Sunday’s events will include a pancake breakfast from 7-10 a.m. sponsored by the CACC, with the Tri-Community Food Shelf Raffle set to take place at 9 a.m. during the breakfast.

A community worship service will cap off the weekend at 10:30 a.m. with Pastor Judy and music by Ron, Digger & Mickey. A free-will offering will be taken, and proceeds will go to the Tri-Community Food Shelf.

All of the weekend’s events will take place at the Cromwell Park Pavilion unless otherwise noted.

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