LEWISBURG — The Village of Lewisburg held its second annual Harvest Fest on Saturday, Oct. 19. The festival featured numerous contests — including a costume contest, pumpkin decorating, and a chili cook-off — and 15 craft and direct sales vendors.
Following the festival, the village hosted a dedication ceremony for Lewisburg’s Bicentennial Square.
This event was hosted by Lewisburg LIFE, which is a sub-committee of the Lewisburg Chamber of Commerce. According to President Mandy Pahl, this organization was created by downtown business owners to bring people to Lewisburg to enjoy all they have to offer.
“Fall is such a fun time with unique activities, it is a great time to gather and enjoy the changing season. We love seeing our community enjoying each other and all the fun things we plan,” Pahl said.
“This year we have 15 craft and direct sales vendors set up on Dayton Street, a chili cook off between the local businesses, free hot dogs, a bouncy obstacle course brought to us by the National Guard, pumpkin decorating, a costume contest and a pumpkin decorating contest, and of course shopping at all of our downtown shops.”
Willie Hawkins also performed and the Community Association held a showing of the movie “Cars.”
Yankee Clover Mercantile won the chili cook-off.
“The festival was busy non stop with a great turn out,” Pahl said. “We would love to add more vendors and activities next year. We love that people like to come and spend their day in Lewisburg. Our festival has something for everyone, kids to adults, from contests to games to shopping, there is no need to go anywhere else. “
Pahl added, “Thank you to everyone who worked to get the event planned and scheduled, the Village for all their help getting things set up and the support, and most importantly thank you to everyone who came to enjoy the event, you are the reason we put them on.”
Following the festival, the village held its Bicentennial Square Dedication ceremony. The ceremony featured Municipal Manager Jeff Sewert, Pastor David Justis, Mayor Marsha Jones, Keynote Speaker Brian Barnes, Ben Thaeler, Representative for Warren Davidson, State Representative J. Todd Smith, Preble County Commissioner Rodney Creech, Lewisburg Chamber of Commerce President Todd Appledorn, Jackie Gross with Lewisburg LIFE, and Pam Baker and Barb Foster with the Lewisburg Bicentennial Committee.
According to Sewert, in late 2017, past State Representative Jeff Rezabek reached out to his district government entities and announced applications were being accepted for the State Capital Grant Program. At that time, the village was preparing for an upcoming yearlong celebration of its bicentennial.
The village was renting space for a bicentennial store/green space for the use of displaying historic items donated by past and present citizens relating to the village. The store also sold bicentennial merchandise throughout 2018.
During 2018, Lewisburg LIFE initiated the Friday Night Block Parties and utilized the green space for their events for music and fellowship.
“Currently there is a community committee meeting on a monthly basis to develop a plan for the future use of The Bicentennial Store/green space, with the initial ideas including keeping the space as a historic museum of the village, or maybe a welcome center, but before the winter season, new windows will be installed. The committee hopes to have a plan in place over the winter and begin improvements in the spring of 2020,” Sewert said.
“The dedication ceremony was another chapter in the celebration of the bicentennial year of 2018 and village officials wanted to share this with the community in conjunction of Harvest Fest organized by Lewisburg LIFE.
“I think the green space was tagged the Bicentennial Square, because it has been the focal point of our recent downtown revitalization, Friday Night Block Parties — generally all downtown activities and its geography is square. Hopefully, the newly dedicated Bicentennial Square will continue to follow the mission statement of the Village of Lewisburg, now and into the future.”
During her welcoming speech, Mayor Jones noted, “Lewisburg dedicates Bicentennial Square to our maker and community as a place to welcome all who enter our village.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH