The Third Annual Hillhurst Sunnyside Harvest Fair is set to be a celebration of harvest and community engagement this fall.
Janet Melrose, garden animator for the Calgary Horticultural Society (CHS), says the focus and main objective of the market is a celebration of local food.
“The impact of an event like the Harvest Fair is the building of a very positive and engaged community.”
“A community of people who appreciate local food,” said Melrose.
Marking the last day of the Hillhurst Sunnyside Outdoor Farmer’s Market, the Harvest Fair is scheduled to take place rain or shine from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 2 at the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association (HSCA).
The event is sponsored by HSCA, Green Calgary and CHS and also partners with various community gardens in the surrounding area.
The regular Farmer’s Market vendors will be set-up outside and various competition categories including best produce, biggest produce, culinary, arts and crafts, photography and children under eight and over eight will be located inside the building.
New categories to look forward to this year include: biggest hardneck garlic, garlic preserves and herbal wreaths.
The first year there were 70 entries for the produce competition, the second year it grew to 250 entries. This year the goal is to have 500 competitors in various categories, Melrose explained.
“It’s not about serious competition.
“There is even a category for the weirdest shaped and most pathetic fruit or vegetable,” said Melrose.
“It’s about having fun and celebrating gardening.”
Winners for first and second place are awarded ribbons and “bragging rights,” said Melrose.
Regardless if registrants receive a ribbon, all competitors have the opportunity to win a door prize.
The impact of an event like the Harvest Fair is the building of a very positive and engaged community. – Janet Melrose
Some of the nine plus volunteer judges will include John Gilchrist, Julie Van Rosendaal, Joanne Dafoe and Meryl Coombs from Let’s Talk Gardening, Chef Instructor Andrew Hewson from SAIT as well as Tabitha Archer and Dalia Kohen, owners of The Coup and Meet restaurant and lounge.
Live music by the Kennedy Clan, BackYard Betties and The Glory Wheels, a beer garden and Market Menu, a meal prepared by a local chef or group at a cost of up to $10 are some of the other events planned for the fair this year, according to Kate Stenson, community food program co-ordinator for the HSCA.
“What I think it comes down to is that it is a celebration of the harvest and a celebration of the work all the people have put in throughout the year,” said Stenson.
The Hillhurst Sunnyside Harvest Fair includes free entry and is expected to draw between 1500 and 2000 people from around Calgary.