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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2012:09:28 23:33:21

Children decorate pumpkins during last year's inaugural Harvest Moon Festival at Hillside Park, formerly the Abington Area Park, located on Winola Road in Clarks Summit. Pumpkin decorating at the festival is sponsored by the Abington Community Garden. Both Hillside Park and the Abington Community Garden are overseen by the Abington Area Joint Recreation Board.

Harvest time is upon us and one Abingtons-based organization is ready to celebrate the change in seasons by bringing families together before Old Man Winter comes to town.

The Hillside Harvest Moon Festival will be held at Hillside Park, formerly the Abington Area Park, on Winola Road in Clarks Summit on Saturday, Sept. 28, from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Abington Area Joint Recreation Board (AAJRB), which oversees the park. Various events during the festival are chaired by local community groups, including the Abington Community Library's Teen Leadership Committee and the Abington Area Community Classroom.

AAJRB spokesperson Diane Vietz explained that the festival's main draw is the fun and fellowship it provides to local residents.

"The best part of the festival experience is knowing that people are taking time to be outside with their family and friends for a blend of fun, camaraderie and entertainment before the winter closes in," she said. "What is also amazing about the festival is how many people stepped up to create the event to bring our community together at the park's centerpiece. Countless volunteers and groups got together to organize this year's festival."

This year's event will see the return of popular events, such as "pumpkin chunkin'," sponsored by the Abington Youth Soccer League, where children will get to launch pumpkins into Lake Eston Wilson by using a gigantic slingshot, and the Abington Area Girls Softball League's Home Run Derby. New this year will be "Arts on the Dam," which will feature local art and artisan vendors, a farmers' market featuring local products, and a drum circle on the park's boardwalk from 1-3 p.m., where festivalgoers will get to try their hand at therapeutic drumming.

"The festival benefits the park in a few ways," Vietz said. "It helps people experience the park year-round and visitors will get acquainted with the park's newer amenities, such as the boardwalk, newly-paved paths and artificial field turf. Also, the event becomes a centering space for all to connect with friends and, therefore, will want to return to this welcoming space. All of the vendors are donating some proceeds back to the park, which will be used for improvements."

Live music will also be held throughout the day, including barbershop quartet Vocal Accord, whose performance is sponsored by Jake's Barbershop of Chinchilla. Other acts include Pat Salmon Jr., Scott Asay and Jason Zeidman, Charles Havira and Justin Mazur, Common Threads Band and the Take 3 Band.

For more information on the Hillside Harvest Moon Festival, visit