Wilsonville set to host its annual Harvest Festival Saturday at the Stein-Boozier Barn

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO: CITY OF WILSONVILLE - Kids and their families can appreciate a ride behind a pair of draft horses. Come and find out at Saturdays Wilsonville Harvest Festival at the Stein-Boozier Barn. The leaves seem to be changing color especially rapidly this fall, making the city of Wilsonville’s upcoming Fall Harvest Festival particularly timely.

Scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the historic Stein-Boozier barn at Murase Plaza, the festival has become a yearly fixture that draws hundreds to the restored barn that once held filberts and other crops harvested from local fields.

These days, it’s used as a spot for community gatherings by a city that still values its connections to Oregon’s historical roots.

This year, the fifth annual festival will kick off with a costume parade around 10:15 a.m., followed by a special Wilsonville Public Library story time for kids at 11 a.m. There also will be pumpkin decorating while supplies last, horse and wagon rides for the whole family and plenty of live music. Best of all, the event is free to the public with a donation of canned food for the Wilsonville Food Bank.

“We’ve changed the time up this year, so it’s going to be a morning event instead of in the afternoon,” said Brian Stevenson, recreation coordinator for the city. “Attendance has never been an issue, but we had luck with community events in the morning like the Easter Egg Hunt, so we figured it wouldn’t hurt.”

Stevenson also noted that the popular horse and wagon rides will return once again to offer an old-fashioned, and perhaps a bit bouncy, ride through Murase Plaza. The vintage red buggy is pulled by a pair of draft horses owned by Chafin Farms from Sweet Home, which offers a similar service around the state.

“They find their way up here for a variety of stuff,” Stevenson said. “They’re involved with West Linn programs as well, and we got connected with them a few years back and I know folks enjoy having them around.”

Another kid favorite on offer again this year is pumpkin decorating. There will be 125 good-sized pumpkins available for carving and decorating on a first-come, first-served basis. Also on tap will be a host of craft activities in the barn, as well as story time.

Finally, a costume parade will round out the festivities, and kids who bring a costume with them will get a Family Fun Center gift certificate good for a round of miniature golf or admission to the Kidopolis section for those under 5 feet tall.

The harvest festival was originally run by the city’s natural resources department and later taken over by parks and recreation. The first event in 2008 drew perhaps 30 attendees, Stevenson said. Since then, however, it has grown significantly.

“It’s growing the last couple of years, he said. “The last couple of years we ran out of pumpkins, even. We usually get about 125 kids with their parents; probably 300 or so folks who come out to the event. The other piece is the event is free, the wagon rides are free, etcetera, but we’re asking folks to bring a donation for the food bank.”

About the only thing similar to the first festival, he added, is the name. It was more farm-oriented the first year, whereas more recent events have taken on a much more family-centered entertainment approach.

“The first year it definitely had a different look and feel to it. It’s not the way it is now,” Stevenson said. “And then natural resources handed the event over to parks and rec, and we promoted it and have grown it to the way it is now, and that’s where we are today.”

At a glance

Wilsonville Fall Harvest Festival

When: 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 19

Where: Stein-Boozier Historical Barn at Murase Plaza, 8300 SW Wilsonville Road

Who: Open to the public; free with a donation of two food items for the Wilsonville Food Bank


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