Merging of Waterville festivals a success

This past Sunday, October 4, hundreds of people flocked to Head of the Falls in Waterville to celebrate the arrival of Fall during the 12th annual Harvest Fest. For the first time this year, this festival combined the Harvest Fest, Festival At the Falls, and the new Maine Craft Weekend all on the same day. The festival in- cluded activities such as pumpkin carving, hayrides, and scarecrow making, as well as a variety of festive foods and drinks. Students from Colby’s social clubs, such as A cappella groups and the Woodsmen team, also contributed to the fun and provided entertainment for children of all ages. Along with the Waterville residents and families who attended the festival, many Colby students also made their way to downtown to observe and participate in the fun. Caroline Ferguson ’17, who attended the festival, said that she thought it was “a great opportunity for a wider community to come together. It was also great to see Colby get involved with Waterville.”

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Along with the festival’s activities celebrating the changing of the seasons, the festival also focused heavily on showcasing Waterville’s cultural diversity. The addition of Festival of the Falls allowed for food, music, and entertainment from a variety of different cultures in Waterville to be included at the festival. The food was an especially big hit, containing favorites such as tourtiere; traditional meat pie from Quebec— Jewish pastries such as macaroons and mandel bread, and borscht, which is a Russian beet soup. The cultural entertainment, which included a performance from the Recycled Shakespeare Company and music from a variety of cultures, was equally enjoyed.

Festival at the Falls usually occurs in early September, yet this year, after the Waterville City Council cut $4,500 in funding for the event, the future of the festival was at risk. By joining forces with the Harvest Fest and using donations from private citizens, the Festival at the Falls could still be held.

These two festivals also collaborated with events celebrating Maine Craft Weekend, put on by Waterville Creates! Maine Craft Weekend provided people an opportunity to explore the work of craft artists and craft brewers in Maine. It is very likely that combining these events helped draw a greater number and variety of people to the festival than in years past. Overall, the festival produced a great turnout and was widely enjoyed by the Waterville community.

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