Celebrate the best of fall and Franklin with friends and neighbors at the 15th annual Franklin Downtown Partnership Harvest Festival on Saturday, October 14, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This year’s Harvest Festival features a day of great local entertainment, carnival-style games for kids young and old, more artists and crafters, face painting, fall-themed giveaways, and new food and drink options to entertain nearly 6,000 expected visitors. In case of rain the Festival will run on Sunday, October 15.
With the completion of the Downtown Improvement Project, the Partnership is able to use all of Main Street and the surrounding downtown area for this year’s festival, which promises to be the largest one-day event the FDP has ever produced.
“The Harvest Festival is our annual opportunity to invite people to come together downtown and have fun experiencing the local businesses throughout the community that are unique to this area,” says Scott Martin, FDP vice president and event chairperson. “Our ability to stage the event throughout Main Street, East Central and West Central streets for this festival will provide an incredible setup for entertainment, shopping and dining downtown.”
Main Street will be closed to vehicle traffic and turned into a pedestrian mall for the 150 participating vendors, crafters, exhibitors and groups. East Central and West Central streets will also showcase booths and activities, including a children’s games area near Summer Street.
Local performers will entertain the crowds in many locations throughout the festival. On Main Street in front of Rockland Trust, get ready for five hours of entertainment by a DJ, Kevin Wolfe and James McCue on guitars, the Padula Jazz Trio, and a number of dance groups, including Feet In Motion School of Dance. Check the entertainment listing on the FDP website, www.franklindowntownpartnership.org, for groups and times.
Franklin’s own Jamie Barrett will perform at Jane’s Frames on East Central, and Milford radio station MyFM 101.3 will broadcast live from the event throughout the day. Backyard Swagger, a country rock cover band, will perform at the Franklin Historical Museum from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The museum will be open for tours and handing out apple cider and cookies.
Andrew Barry will perform with his guitar in the Main Street Century 21 parking lot, which is also the location of the all-new food court, where hungry and thirsty festival goers can relax with a warm beverage at the coffee bar. Local restaurants will serve up many satisfying choices like pizza slices and chocolate, and the food truck will tempt with burgers, Italian sausages, chicken and fresh-squeezed lemonade.
Not to be missed is the FDP food tent, donated by Dean Bank, where visitors can indulge in freshly made cannoli from Dolce Dolce Bakery. Located in front of the bank on Main Street, the FDP will also offer hot dogs, popcorn, snacks and water.
“This is the biggest block party the Partnership has had the pleasure of organizing, and we are very excited to celebrate downtown Franklin’s improvements and new businesses,” says Lisa Piana, FDP Executive Director. “We invite everyone in Franklin and the surrounding areas to meet in Franklin and experience all we have to offer.”
Dean Bank, a Silver sponsor of the event, will make it easier for all residents to enjoy the day. After 12 p.m., the Dean Bank parking lot will be open for handicapped parking and serve as the drop-off and pickup location for senior living center residents. Other festival parking information will be posted on the FDP website the day of the event.
There will be plenty of activities to keep kids occupied and happy at the Harvest Festival. Many booths will offer face painting, temporary tattoos and crafts, and kids can climb on the fire engines at the Franklin Fire Station’s Touch A Truck event.
The Hockomock Area YMCA Bernon Family Branch will run the Children’s Inflatable Play Area on Dean Avenue (portions of Dean Ave. will be closed to traffic for the festival). As another added attraction, the Y will also run carnival-style games and have costumed characters appear on the grassy area at the corner of East Central and Summer streets.
Local businesses are making this event possible through sponsorship. Silver sponsors for this fall’s event are Dean Bank, Middlesex Savings Bank and Rockland Trust.
Bronze sponsors are Chestnut Dental Associates, DCU, the Franklin Cultural Council, Franklin Ford, Keefe Insurance and Real Living Realty.
Friends sponsors are Atria – Franklin, Beaux Regards Photographic Art, Boston Solar, D.G. Ranieri Real Estate, Fenton Financial Group, Flynn/Wirkus/Young, P.C., Franklin Central Pizza, the Franklin Cultural District, Franklin Health & Rehabilitation Center, the Franklin Historical Museum, Jane’s Frames, LeafFilter, MyFM 101.3, Renewal by Andersen, Rescom Exteriors, Simon’s Furniture, Tom Fricker Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc., and the Hockomock Area YMCA Bernon Family Branch.
The Franklin Downtown Partnership is a nonprofit, 501©3 organization made up of 240 business owners, community leaders and residents working to stimulate economic development downtown and create a positive impact throughout the area. Go to www.franklindowntownpartnership.org/ for more information.