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'My favorite season': Harvest Festival to celebrate fall with family fun

Horse and buggy rides will be just one small part of the enjoyment to be had at this year's Harvest Festival at DSU on Saturday. (Photo courtesy of the Dickinson Chamber of Commerce)

Summertime is almost over, but there's plenty to look forward to as the leaves begin to turn—and to celebrate the onset of autumn comes once more Dickinson's Harvest Festival, presented Saturday Sept. 15, by its Chamber of Commerce.

"It's our third year and we have a lot of great, kid-friendly activities this year," Megan Klassen, marketing and communications manager for the Chamber, said of the event. "This is my favorite season, it's so good in Dickinson. I think this is such a quality-of-life event, I'm extremely passionate about it. I have three kiddos under 5 and this just gives them the opportunity to celebrate fall."

Building momentum each subsequent year, the Harvest Festival continues to grow, This year it will feature more than 15 crafters and makers, including a variety of Scandinavian-inspired home decor and gifts. A "food village" will feature a variety of foodstuffs in both the morning and afternoon times and there will be ongoing children's activities courtesy of Midco and Sanford Health.

"Midco is proud to partner with the Dickinson Chamber at the third annual Harvest Festival. The free, fun-filled family event has become a community staple. This year, Midco will provide a hands-on Play Doh station that sparks creativity and helps children hone their sensory skills. We can't wait to watch kids' and parents' faces light up at this year's Harvest Festival," said Director of Public and Media Relations, Paige Pearson Meyer in a press release issued by the Chamber.

The event will occupy the Dickinson State University King's Pavilion and feature dances, musical performances of various genres, and the Woofta Pet Store will be on present hosting their puppy contests—a trio of challenges for puppies of all sizes. A canine Halloween contest will see man's best friend put on their spookiest costumes to try and win over the judges—and you can register at the event, so bring your four-legged pals along when you attend the festival.

"They just have to be friendly," Klassen said.

Attendance is free—attendees are encouraged to bring some spending money along, though, for face painting, food and other fun activities.

Nothing says autumn better than a patch of pristine pumpkins, and FamilyFare was generous enough to donate 500 of the seasonal gourds to fill this festival's pumpkin patch. Children will be allowed to pick out their favorite to take home.

The pumpkin patch hearkens to the very origination of the Harvest Festival, which Klassen said speaks to the deep agricultural roots of the region.

"Dickinson is an ag-focused community and there is so much happening at this time, we just wanted to provide the community an opportunity to celebrate it. The Chamber is so happy to be a part of that," Klassen said. "We're bringing makers together, we're bringing crafters together, we're bringing our members together. There's a lot we're excited about this year."