The Windsor Harvest Festival kicks off Saturday and will feature a balloon festival, barbecue, concerts, fireworks and about 200 food and craft booths during the three-day event.
The event, now in its 93rd year, began as a celebration of the first paved road into Windsor.
“People could get into the town, so they threw a party,” said event chairman Casey Johnson, who has been involved in organizing the event for the past 18 years. “It’s kept its tradition all this time.”
The festival begins Saturday with a hot-air balloon launch at 7 a.m. from Eastman Park, 7025 Eastman Park Dr. At 4 p.m. the Town Barbecue will be held in Boardwalk Park, 100 N. 5th St. The cost is $5 per person and the proceeds will benefit Windsor After Prom. Following the barbecue, the Steve Manshel Band will play the Harvest Festival Street Dance in the park. Saturday night ends with a fireworks display beginning at dusk over Windsor Lake.
On Sunday and Monday, the activities will move to Main Park, 300 Locust St., where there will be arts and crafts, commercial and food booths, and rides and games for kids.
The Labor Day Parade will march down Walnut Street beginning at 9 a.m. Monday.
“It is so popular that people will go out the night before and reserve their spots,” Johnson said.
This year’s theme is “Harvesting Windsor’s dreams: past, present, future.” This year’s grand marshals for the event will be Mike and Susan Carey.
“The idea behind that is that we want residents, local businesses, anyone in the Windsor area to see that the Harvest Festival is a collaboration of things that made Windsor come alive in the past and things that are currently helping Windsor become what it will be in the future,” Johnson said.
He said in the past, the event has drawn between 30,000 and 40,000 people throughout the three-day celebration.
“We’re hoping for a similar turnout this year,” he said. “There’s always something new every year, so if you haven’t been here for a couple years you’ll see a lot of new things. It’s a very family-friendly event. You might think there will be a lot of crowds, but Main Park doesn’t get that crowded, even though we may have a lot of people there.”