Harvest Festival Logo 2004

Excerpts from Jane and Vivian's Newsletter Column following the 2004 Harvest Festival. 
Jane and Vivian will be serving on the 2005 Harvest Festival Committee once again!


Vivian Krug

From the Desk of Vivian Krug
Publicity Director

Harvest Festival—The Wild - Wild - West

Another Harvest Festival, the 67
th, has come and gone, but, will not be soon forgotten!    Jane Line and I served on the Harvest Festival committee representing the Historical Society along with over a dozen other Arroyo Grande service groups and organizations.  The goal of this year’s Festival Committee was to turn back the hands of time and bring the Festival back to its roots of local history and agriculture. The Historical Society played a  large factor in that goal. With over two months of work, planning and preparation, Jane Line along with the help of several Society members (see Jane’s Column below) created a myriad o f h i s t o r i c a l demonstrations and reenactments that were scattered throughout Heritage Square and inside our museums. Jane was also instrumental in bringing back the Festival’s much loved Costume Contest.    Many thanks and kudos to Jane for her hard work and dedication!

Sam Cotton and his gang
The Society made its mark in the Festival Parade. The early days of Branch street were revived with resounding gunshots fired by three Wild West  lawmen—Bucket o’Blood (Michael Fahs), Cole Younger (Sam Cotton), and Old Law Dawg (Marvin Miller) .

They led the Harvest Festival parade followed by the Sheriff and a our new Harvest Festival hoosegow, (built by Lion’s Club member Matt Marcellos). The three lawmen assisted me in my role as HF Sheriff in arresting miscreants without badge or costume.

The Loomis Truck, driven by Bob Miller was adorned with corn stocks and chauffeured the first prize winning Scarecrow made by Monique Pereira.

The Arroyo  Grande Fire Department pulled both the antique ladder cart and hose cart in a bright and colorful display with firefighters dressed in period pieces.

Tony Ferrara, AG Fire Department Volunteers, Loomis TruckOur newly restored, prize winning 1937 Farmall Tractor driven by our Mayor, Tony Ferrara, was back in service for the first time in many years.   The Tractor pulled a trailer covered in hay bales. Riding  on the trailer was the Mayor’s daughter Lauren and her friend Patrick.

This year’s Festival and activities produced over thirty newspaper stories, magazine articles, TV and Radio  spots, many of which highlighted the Society, its museums and the Society’s involvement, resulting in countless new visitors to our museums during the Festival and will no doubt bring more in the future.

My thanks go to Steve Adams, Co-Chair of this year’s Festival, not only for his hard work, but for his exceptional guidance and inspiration in making  this year’s Harvest Festival a huge success.

My involvement with the Harvest Festival, my experience in working with Steve, Co-Chair, Debbie Sidenberg and a wonderful committee was a truly rewarding one and Iook forward to working on the Festival Committee again next year.   Have I told anyone?    I Love this Town !!!


From the desk of Jane Line
Docent Leader

Jane LineWhew! It's over! And what an amazing event it was. I'm talking about Harvest Festival 2004 and the part our   South County Historical Society played in its success. Loren Nicholson, one of our authors and a former SCHS president, told me several months ago that our Society "had always been able to grow into its opportunities." Intuitively, at the time, I accepted he was correct in saying so.  However, now I know first-hand that he was right.  The 2004 Harvest Festival Committee, under new leadership, bowed to popular demand and accepted the  challenge to make the  Festival "more like it used to be!" As a result, our Society was asked to re-create the Costume Contest - and in the process stimulate the greater community to  want to costume themselves in the spirit of the day!  We were also asked to create a "living history" in Heritage Square. Heritage Square is what our three creek side museum complex is now being called. Pretty nice, huh?    So, we had the following exhibits and demonstrations in our area:

John Goodell, Jane Line, Barbara LeSage

Throughout Heritage House, domestic chores and pastimes from the 1890s were on display.    Doris Gullickson, a gifted hand quilter in our Society, hosted a Quilting Bee in the living room.  On the back  porch, docents Norma Burton a n d J a c ki e Thomas washed the old fashioned way - with a tub and washboard! How charming they were with their clothesline showing vintage pantaloons and woolen socks - h u n g wi t h w o o d e n clothespins. Alyssa Adams, S t e p h a n i e Roberts, and J o r d y n Dickens - all eight year-olds f r o m o u r community - churned butter with the wooden churner normally on display in the HH kitchen to which Don Gullickson had only to apply a little lubricant and  it worked beautifully. Seated on the back porch steps, Austin Dickens shucked corn for his imaginary 19th century family's dinner.

In the Gazebo, the Central Coast Quilters gathered signatures on 140 4" quilt squares to be sewn into the 2004 Harvest Festival Friendship Quilt. The CC Quilters will donate the finished quilt back to the SCHS for our archives as this idea  was spurred by the red and white 1902 Friendship Quilt often on display in Heritage House.

The Creekside "arena" revealed Chumash  and Mission exhibits presented by the docents from La Purisima Mission in Lompoc - musical instruments, animal skins, soap making, etc.  Equally charming and interesting were Kay  and Rosemary Thorne, master spinners and weavers from Atascadero who brought three of their antique spinning wheels for their demonstrations. The Barn Overhang was the spot for  an exhibit of leisure activities from the old days with Sam Burton, Chet Thomas and Bill Doose hanging out with spittoons and straw bale seating, whittling, telling stories, playing  checkers, and sharpening their pocket knives! Great, great guys- one and all. 

The Barn yielded five vintage vehicles to be used in the Harvest Festival parade: the 1937 Farmall Tractor, the AG Fire Dept. Hook  and Ladder Cart, Fire Dept Hose Cart, the Vis-a-Vis carriage, and the 1925 Loomis Truck. Kudos to the A.G. Fire Department,  Tony Ferrara and Bob Miller who pulled/drove these crowd-pleasers through a two-hour parade!  Ross  Kongable saw to it that the Vis-a-Vis showed like Cinderella's carriage in our Short Street parking lot. Thank you to all these showmen! The vehicles remained in our parking lot for the  rest of the day for all to see!  

To fill up all that vacated space in the barn, our own Gary Hoving provided 24' of fascinating, historical law enforcement badges and memorabilia from  throughout the decades of California's statehood. Another 24' of display space yielded the magnificent "Guns that Won the West" - 19th century Colts and Winchesters from the collections of Sam Cotton and lifetime member Doug Le Sage.   Truly a wonderful and rare exhibit, and closely guarded by Martin Line and Olaf Shipstead. 

The Santa Manuela  Schoolhouse also did its part for nostalgia for the days-gone-by! Docents Lia Kalpakoff, Norma Harloe  and Gerry Fesler conducted two Spelling Bees. Twenty-five 7-10 year-ol
d  children competed for gift certificates from Doc's Ice Cream Lab followed by twenty-two 11-13 youngsters competing for prizes in that age category.   We were very pleased to have so much participation in this first-time-ever event! 
On Short Street Peggy Sullivan of San Luis Obispo, taught Country Western Line Dancing in front of the schoolhouse. What fun that was - especially considering the western theme of this year's Festival!

hf2.jpg (103614 bytes)

And then there was the Costume Contest, re-invented! Ethel Gilliland coordinated this program but we really had no idea what to expect from the festival-goers as this had not  been done for a long time. So, two teams - Ethel and friend Sharyl, Edie Juck and Barbara Le Sage - were put into the field with camera and clipboard in hand. They photographed over  forty people in costumes representing five different categories, making each individual a contestant! Don Gullickson, Ethel and Edie, worked very hard on Sunday to narrow it down to fifteen winners - 1st, 2nd, 3rd place in each of five categories. These winners will be announced in the TPR this week, as well as having their photos displayed in the Meatlocker   windows for all passers by to view! This project was very dependant on our IT expert, Ross Kongable, as he had to download each team's camera work, sort the photos while keeping them tagged to their contact info, and then manipulate the laptop computer as the judges determined the winners! Be sure you take a look in the windows of the Meatlocker when you visit the Village over the next couple of weeks! You might know someone! 

We are also deeply indebted to Sam Burton, Charles Porter, Sandy Arnold, Ken Leonard and Joe Swigert  who were devotedly responsible for all the logistics of the day - slinging 26 bales of straw around like youngsters, hauling this and that around, and smiling through the whole thing.

More great guys!    Vivian Krug, our Publicity Director, and I had the honor to represent our Society on the 2004 Harvest Festival Committee. We hope you were able to come and enjoy the fruits of all these SCHS members' hard work.   

Vivian triple-dutied throughout the event as photographer, Harvest Festival Sheriff (she arrested nearly 1,000 and put them in jail for not wearing the HF Button), as well as publicity coordinator to the local news media before—during—and after the event.

It was a fantastic Festival and I offer additional thanks to the wonderful community members who contributed to so many long hours. And congratulations to Carroll and Joan Pruett (Lifetime Members of the Society) who were this year's Grand Marshals!



Visit the 2005 Harvest Festival Website
for more information and photos.


Photographs by Ross Kongable and Vivian Krug





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