Harvest Festival, ABATE Fun Fest are downtown this weekend

Due to state budget cuts, Vandalia’s most-popular annual festival is not being held this year. But, there is still a lot going on in downtown Vandalia this weekend.
The Grande Levée, a period celebration at the Vandalia Statehouse, was dropped again this year because of state cuts. However, a local celebration that has been held in conjunction with the Grande Levée, Harvest Festival, is continuing.
And, running in conjunction with the Harvest Festival is an event traditionally held in the spring, the Family Fun Fest held by the Shoal Creek Chapter of ABATE. The ABATE festival was moved to the fall this year after bad weather caused it to be postponed earlier this year.
The Harvest Festival gets under way on Friday evening, when the Vandalia Ministerial Alliance holds the traditional ham and beans dinner, from 5-7 p.m., on the Statehouse lawn.
Saturday's activities kick off with a Color Splash 5K Run/Walk to benefit the Fayette County Museum. Registration is from 8:15-8:45 a.m. in front of the Vandalia Moose Lodge, and participants take off at 9 a.m.
The Family Fun Fest and Harvest Festival run from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and include a motorcycle show, downtown merchant sidewalk sales, food vendors, and kids’ games and activities.
The Little Miss and Little Mister Harvest Festival Pageant will be held at 11 a.m. on a stage at Fourth and Gallatin streets. Those wishing to enter children in the pageant should contact Teresa Powell, 283-1816.
Added to this year’s Harvest Festival is the Talent Showcase, which is the revival of a talent show held in past years during the Grande Levée.
The talent show, held at 2 p.m. at Fourth and Gallatin streets, features two divisions – juniors, ages 14 and under; and seniors, ages 15 and over.
Cash prizes are being offered in each division: first, $100; second, $50; and third, $25.

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