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50 Faces of Harvest Homecoming

There’s so much to love about the New Albany festival

PHOTOGRAPHED & COMPILED BY JENNIFER MCNELLY, REMY SISK, JOSE APONTE AND ANGIE FENTON

In honor of Harvest Homecoming’s 50th anniversary, the Extol Team hit the streets and asked 50 community members what they think makes the New Albany festival so special and why it continues to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors year after year.


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-42-55-pm“The food is awesome – the doughnuts of course are wonderful. And then it’s also great for my store [Colokial Boutique] too because it brings so many people downtown and shows them a side of New Albany that they maybe haven’t seen before.”

ALI GUESS

New Albany


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-43-00-pm“The most interesting thing about Harvest Homecoming is that it attracts people from all over the county. Almost everybody you know will be there at some point, and when the weather’s nice especially, it’s like a great big old-fashioned town reunion.”

BOB SISK

Clarksville


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-43-10-pm“It reminds me so much of fall, and in Vegas, where I moved from, there’s not really ‘fall’ – it’s just another time of the year really. But really I just love community – I love people a lot – and the community and hospitality around here is awesome, so it’s really exciting that Harvest Homecoming represents that – that we’re able to come together as this little town and be friends!”

KIMBERLY PAVAN

Jeffersonville


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-43-33-pm“I’ve been coming to Harvest Homecoming for years, at least 20. I love all the food! I’m a food man.”

JEFF THOMPSON

Louisville


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-43-17-pm“I’ve been going for at least 10 years and I always enjoy the doughnuts.” “I am a big fan of Halloween and Harvest Homecoming is the kick off for me.”

JOHN MCILVOY

New Albany


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-43-41-pm“We try to schedule it through work so we can all come down here together – we’re like a little posse and we all just walk down and enjoy the atmosphere! And then we see people who we know, of course, and then we’re back in the evenings. Also, I think with New Albany, as it’s growing, Harvest Homecoming is just one of those things that brings people together – it really is a true homecoming.”

DENEEN JORDAN

Memphis


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-44-02-pm“I’ve been going to Harvest Homecoming for 15 years now and I go for the chicken and dumplings, it’s the first thing I get when they first open up.”

DONNY YOUNG

Louisville


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-44-11-pm“I’ve been going to Harvest Homecoming for at least 40 years. I really enjoy the baking contest. I won 1st place five times, and last year, two of my granddaughters won 1st and 2nd place. It’s very exciting!”

CAROLYN WATSON

Georgetown


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-44-23-pm“I’ve been going to Harvest Homecoming for about eight years and the only reasons I go is for the Boy Scout grilled corn, the Bella Roma pasta and fried Snickers.”

EMILY BROWN

Floyd Knobs


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-44-29-pm“I’ve been coming to Harvest Homecoming for as long as I can remember, at least 45 years. I love seeing all the people that keep coming back every year.”

TIM KRON

New Albany


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-44-37-pm“I’ve been to Harvest Homecoming one year. I loved meeting people and the food – it’s so good!”

JEANNIE ROBINSON

Louisville


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-44-47-pm“I have never been to Harvest Homecoming but I have heard about it. I have lots of friends going.”

BRYCE MOORE

Greenville


 

screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-45-47-pm“I’ve been coming to Harvest Homecoming for at least 10 years. I love the food and all the live entertainment. It’s really fun.”

NATE BYNUM

Jeffersonville


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-45-52-pm“This is my first time coming to Harvest Homecoming. I just moved here from Bloomington because I heard it was so good! I can’t wait to try the chicken and dumplings, everyone says they are the best!”

MIKE PRICE

Jeffersonville


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-45-57-pm“I have been volunteering for 12 years with the festival and became a member six years ago. Now that we are a 501c3, we can give away more money and more scholarships, be able to help more students achieve their dreams of going to college, raise more money for the Crusade for Children – helping our community, that’s what we’re all about.”

DREW JONES

Harvest Homecoming President-Elect 2018-2019


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-46-01-pm“I’ve been coming to Harvest Homecoming most of my life, at least 20 years. I love the food. I get the gyros every year!”

ZACH WOODARD

New Albany


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-46-06-pm“This will be my first year coming to Harvest Homecoming and I’m really looking forward to the parade!”

MARGO MORGAN

Jeffersonville


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-46-21-pm“Been going since the 80’s and I have always enjoyed the concerts down by the river.”

JASON MCCARTHY

Clarksville


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-46-16-pm“I love everything about it. I love to see all the neat crafts and the different things that people are selling. Obviously food is number one – always love to get the dumplings. But it really speaks volumes to our city. It shows that we all come together and everyone enjoys it. My kids – they’re 9, 6 and 3 – my younger kids love the rides, and as they get older, they start to enjoy the food as well as the rides and facepainting. Meanwhile, me as an adult, I love to see old friends I haven’t seen in years.”

STEPHANIE FORTNER

New Albany


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-46-24-pm“I’ve been going to Harvest Homecoming on and off for 25 years and I always love the concerts they have.” “I love the music and I also get to see people I haven’t seen in years.”

FRANKIE MOLET

New Albany


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-46-29-pm“This will be my second year and I think it’s a great thing for the community.”There is always a very diverse crowd and it brings a lot of foot traffic to the area.”

REECEE FROM UNDERGROUND CLASSIC CUTS

Louisville


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-46-34-pm“This will be my second time returning to Harvest Homecoming. I loved the kettle corn and the corn on the cob.”

TAMARA MEANS

Louisville


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-46-40-pm“I’ve been going on and off since 2010 and I most look forward to the craft booths.”

BRI SMITH

Louisville


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-46-58-pm“I love the parade – all the different floats. It’s so fun to see the different ways people decorate their floats, and it’s always exciting to see the different themes that people come up with. I think it really shows off the creativity of the community.”

RILEY SMITH

Flodys Knobs


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-46-55-pm“I’ve been attending for around 25 years and I always look forward to the rolled oysters.”

STEVE ROBINS

Martinsburg


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-47-11-pm“I’ve gone to Harvest on and off with my dad since I was two years old, and we would always get the pumpkin rolls.”

LILY BARNETT

New Albany


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-47-19-pm“Harvest to me is the three Fs: family, fun and friends. I’ll tell you what, the friends are the (festival) vice presidents here who take care of things and do a very, very fine job.”

BRADLEY NEEDHAM

Harvest Homecoming President 2016-2017


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-47-23-pm“I have been going to Harvest Homecoming for just a few years and I always look forward to the animal booths.”

KELSEY ELLIOT

Jeffersonville


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-47-35-pm“It brings so much money into downtown New Albany, which does so much for small local businesses. And then so many people who haven’t been around here can see what’s coming up over here – restaurants, places they may want to come back and visit – or they might see somewhere for sale and want to start a new business over here.”

SUMMER SIEG

Corydon


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-47-40-pm“Harvest means community to me, it means fellowship with local residents and vendors and it means ringing in the fall season. I started helping my grandfather sell pins when I was only four years old. … Right now, we have between 200 and 300 volunteers, and with the festival expanding and adding events, we’d really like to increase that number. … We are an organization that is all about being inclusive. We want people from (all walks of life, ages and beliefs). That’s what’s going to make Harvest Homecoming stronger going into the next several years and will allow the festival to be around for another 50 years”

HALEY MATHENY

Vice President of Volunteerism


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-47-47-pm“I’ve been going to Harvest Homecoming for 35 years. I just love the community environment and the tradition that surrounds it. The atmosphere is just great.”

ANDY DUGGINS

New Albany


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-47-59-pm“I’ve been going to Harvest Homecoming on and off for 10 years. I love the food. The apple dumplings with vanilla ice cream are the best. ”

RICK BYNUM

Jeffersonville


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-47-54-pm“I’ve been going to Harvest Homecoming for 20 years. I love the people.”

TONI THOMPSON

Louisville


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-48-06-pm“Harvest Homecoming means family to me. Not just my own flesh and blood but my HH pals. We have a wonderful time together. We work really hard together, but it’s a great way to spend any extra time that anybody has.”

POLLY NIEMEIER

Harvest Homecoming Vice President & Office Manager


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-48-22-pm“Oh I’ve been coming to Harvest Homecoming for 20 years or so. I really like helping out my church and decorating their booth. I’m excited about the theme this year!”

AMI JO

New Albany


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-48-13-pm“I’ve been coming to Harvest Homecoming for at least 10 years. I love meeting new people and talking to them. When you have a booth, you meet a lot of new people that are really friendly.”

RENEE PFEIFER

New Albany


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-48-17-pm“I’ve been to Harvest Homecoming three times. I love bringing my kids. We love the corn and the funnel cake! After the food, we usually go to the fair to ride the rides.”

YOLANDA BAUTISTA

Louisville


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-48-29-pm“Harvest Homecoming is where we [Sweet Stuff Bakery] first started selling the tubs of cake, and it’s since become our biggest advertising event. The tubs just started gaining popularity and we were taking more and more down there. In fact, so many times, I’ll have brides come in from way up north and I’ll ask them how they know about us, and they’ll say, ‘Harvest. We had your cake at Harvest.”

DIANE CHRISTOPHER

New Albany


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-48-37-pm“It definitely draws a lot of people to downtown New Albany and brings people from across the river and across Southern Indiana. And it’s set up where all these different business are, and all these businesses offer different things so it puts that in the back of people’s minds as they’re walking around that they might want to come back and check out more of the city.”

RYAN MARSH

New Albany


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-48-42-pm“I love the food and the general festive atmosphere. It’s so cool that we have something like that that is so fun but also brings the community together. It says so much about our community, too; it says that we want to get involved and participate and do things together and have fun!”

BRIANNA JACOBI

New Albany


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-48-50-pm“It wouldn’t be fall without Harvest Homecoming. … As the executive director of the scholarship pageants, I have the absolute blessing of working with young women every single year and helping them make their way to achieve their dreams on the Miss Indiana stage. A little-known fact, Harvest Homecoming is a local preliminary to the Miss America organization, which allows young women to represent our festival on a national stage.”

CARA ELISE LAWSON

Executive Director of Miss Harvest Homecoming Scholarship Pageants


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-48-56-pm“New Albany is such a great home to so many people, and Harvest Homecoming really brings out the joy that this town has.”

ALLYSON SEARS

Harvest Homecoming Vice President of the parade and pumpkin decorating and baking contests


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-48-59-pm“I’ve been to Harvest Homecoming one time and I plan on going this year. I really loved all the different people that show up. For such a small community, you would never have guessed there would be so many different booths.”

ERIN ZEHNER

New Albany


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-49-03-pm“I’ve been going to Harvest Homecoming for many years. I really love seeing all the people and how the community comes together.”

KRISTIN KENNEDY

Corydon


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-49-08-pm“It means too much really to put into words. You have the family part of it, you have the community part of it, you have the tradition, and when people come to Harvest once they always want to come back. It’s something that stays with you no matter where you go. People travel from faraway places to come back every year.”

MARY ARNOLD

Harvest Homecoming Vice President of various children events


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-49-13-pm“What I get out of it is the giving back. When we talk about family and community, one of the things that is an important part about in a family and community is what you give. About 30 percent of our booths are nonprofits and a lot of them make their entire budget for the year during Harvest Homecoming and that money then, in turn, gets spent in our community for people who need it.”

BETH WHITE

Harvest Homecoming Vice President of booths


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-49-20-pm“I’ve been going to Harvest Homecoming for at least 10 years and I always look forward to the chicken and dumplings!”

MICHELLE RYAN

New Albany


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-49-29-pm“I’ve been going to Harvest Homecoming for at least 10 years. I love decorating our booth.”

CHRISTIN JOHNSON

New Albany


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-49-37-pm“Oh I’ve been going since I was a wee one and my most favorite memory was when I was able to represent Goat Milk Stuff in a vendor booth.”

TERRY LYNCH FROM PEARLS ON PEARL

New Albany