The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022

2016 Harvest Moon Fest adds activities

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Last year’s inaugural revamping of the downtown Harvest Moon Festival continues this Saturday with the return of outhouse races and a chili cook-off among the scheduled activities.

Shown is the Wallace Plumbing entry from the 2015 Harvest Moon Festival's inaugural Outhouse Races. (VW independent file photo)
Shown is the Wallace Plumbing entry from the 2015 Harvest Moon Festival’s inaugural Outhouse Races. (VW independent file photo)

Adam Ries, program manager for downtown development group Main Street Van Wert, said the event should be even more fun than last year’s popular celebration.

Ries said this year’s festival will be held in the 100 block of East Main Street, rather than on Central Avenue, as was the case last year.

“Main Street will be closed most of the day,” the MSVW program manager said, noting that, in addition to the Outhouse Races being held along Main Street, several other activities will be centered around the Van Wert County Courthouse.

Those activities include the chili cook-off from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.; a cornhole tournament that will begin at noon with registration, while play will start at 1 p.m. and continue until all teams have competed.

There will be a number of children’s games and contests, starting at noon and running through 3 p.m. Saturday, while the Outhouse Races will begin at 1 p.m., Ries said.

He noted that the four “inaugural” Outhouse Race teams from last year — Alexander & Bebout, Straley Realty, Truly D’Vine, and Wallace Plumbing — are back this year, as well as several more teams.

“This year, we have seven entries for sure, with a couple more possible if they can get their outhouses built by then,” he noted. “I’m excited because that’s nearly double the number we had last year.”

With the competition to be double-elimination, Ries said outhouse racing should run most of the afternoon.

In addition to some unique designs, he added that this year’s outhouse races will also feature costumes and much more. Ries said the races will be held, rain or shine, as long as the weather doesn’t become severe.

Following the races, musical group The Jug Puffers will perform in front of the courthouse.

“They call themselves ‘mountain country’,” Ries said, noting that the group plays a mix of folk and country music.

In addition to chili, Gibsons BBQ will also be at the festival to provide their popular barbecue products. The Van Wert Humane Society will also have an information booth, as well as some pets for adoption. A Dog Agility Course will also be set up on Main Street for local canines.

“So you can have chili for lunch and barbecue for supper, or vice versa,” Ries said.

The event will also include a beer tent, which will be set up in the stone lot behind the Garden of the Senses, he added.

“It’s been a lot more fun to plan this year,” Ries said, mostly, he added, because of the great committee helping him organize the event, as well as 2016 sponsors.

Gold Sponsors include Harvest the Wind and Alexander & Bebout, while Silver Sponsors are Lee Kinstle’s GM Sales & Service, Straley Realty, Wallace Plumbing, Ink Again, and National Door & Trim.

POSTED: 09/30/16 at 7:47 am. FILED UNDER: News