By Calvin Pynn, contributor
The Friendly City Food Co-op will celebrate autumn and National Co-op Month with a Community Harvest Party from noon-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, in the store’s parking lot.
While this year’s event will be the third Community Harvest Party hosted by the Co-op, it is the first since 2018. The last iteration was planned for 2020, but was nixed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Mackenzie Jenkins, the co-op’s marketing director.
The festivities’ range of autumn-themed activities include pumpkin decorating, face painting, cornhole, a hay couch where guests can pose with props for photos and bounce house.
Jenkins said multiple local businesses will collaborate with the co-op for the Harvest Party and host their own activities for guests.
“There’s a lot of interconnected local business partnering going on,” Jenkins said. “We’re here to support the local economy, local farmers, and this is one of the ways we want to give back to the community.”
Valley Creative Reuse — a new arts and crafts store in Harrisonburg — will host pumpkin decorating, while Bubbles By the Burg will blow giant bubbles across the lot and the Natural Garden will educate guests about native plants. Park View Federal Credit Union and the Friendly City Clay and Art Center will also be there.
Jenkins said downtown instrument store “The Tuning Fork” will also pitch in by providing a stage and sound system for the Harvest Party’s musical entertainment. Reggae group iRon Lion will take the stage at 12:15 p.m., followed by country singer/songwriter Rebecca Porter at 1:15.
The Harrisonburg Dance Co-op will also perform twice that afternoon.
Food will be provided by two local food trucks: Ott Street Eats and Lolita’s Delights, which shares the lot daily with the Co-op. The co-op will also have its own table set up with free mugs for the first 100 visitors.
While the Co-op’s parking lot will be closed for the Community Harvest Party, Jenkins said the Elizabeth Street parking deck will be open.
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