JERSEYVILLE - St. Francis/Holy Ghost Catholic School will host their 25th annual Harvest Fest this weekend, complete with activities, games, prizes, live music and more.
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The festival is held on St. Francis grounds, located at 412 S. State Street in Jerseyville. Kids can enjoy face painting, pumpkin decorating, games and a scavenger hunt while parents participate in the raffles, live auction and 90s trivia game. A cornhole tournament and pie-eating contest will round out the weekend, with music from local bands all day Saturday and Sunday.
“It’s a big carnival, church picnic environment,” Principal Dr. Dennis Cramsey explained. “The adults enjoy coming out for the adult beverages and the bands throughout the weekend…There are all kinds of kids’ games to keep the kids occupied while the adults socialize. It’s definitely geared toward families.”
Plenty of food and drinks are on the menu. The live auction will take place on Saturday night, and a variety of raffle prizes are also available. The raffle’s grand prize of $15,000, which is $5,000 more than in previous years, will be awarded on Sunday evening. You can purchase tickets at the Harvest Fest. Visit the official Harvest Fest Facebook page to check out the other prizes and auction items.
While the adults are bidding, kids can enjoy activities like the cornhole tournament, which kicks off at 6 p.m. on Sept. 16 for teams ages 16 and under. A pie-eating contest is the main event at 3:15 p.m. on Sept. 17; a parent waiver is required. Parents and kids might decide to team up for the 90s trivia event from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. Winners will receive “authentic 1990s prizes that I found in my mom’s garage,” promises DJ Hutch, who also encourages you to bring your 90s music requests.
But until then, local bands will provide music throughout the weekend. Midnight Boys will play from 2–6 p.m. followed by Back in the Saddle from 7–11 p.m. on Sept. 17. The Jersey Community High School Show Choir will perform from noon to 1 p.m. on Sunday, and then DJ Hutch will take the reins through the trivia event from 1:30–4:30 p.m. Outlaw Opry will round out the weekend starting at 4 p.m. until the end of Sunday night.
“This event is not possible without our parents, who put in a lot of time and effort,” Cramsey added. “There are quite a number of subcommittees that are led by parents, and then throughout the weekend, parents are volunteering for shifts to cover various tents and activities throughout the weekend. It just involves our entire school community to put this event on.”
While Harvest Fest is a beloved tradition and fundraiser for the St. Francis/Holy Ghost community, Cramsey invited everyone to attend, and he hopes to see plenty of new faces all weekend long. With a great forecast and fun lineup, he noted, it should be a great festival.
“In our 25 years of putting on this event, it has grown to be a huge community event for the entire Jersey County community and surrounding areas. So we get a lot of support from everyone in our community,” he said. “I think it’s shaping up to be potentially one of our biggest events ever.”
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