51st annual festival begins Oct. 6
Southern Indiana’s renowned fall festival kicks off Oct. 6 in downtown New Albany.
Harvest Homecoming returns for the 51st year, this time featuring the theme “Pumpkin Bash.”
“The name speaks for itself: it is a celebration of everything Harvest,” festival officials said in a release. “This year is going to be a ‘bash’ of a good time, so it is only fitting that the theme be ‘Pumpkin Bash.’”
One of the top three highest-attended festivals in Indiana, Harvest Homecoming is part holiday, part tourist attraction, part tradition and all things Southern Indiana.
Harvest Homecoming Festival 2018
Oct. 6-14 in New Albany
Harvest Homecoming Office
431 Pearl St.
Open 12 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday
Harvest Homecoming Mission Statement
Harvest Homecoming is a group of volunteers dedicated to providing a family-oriented festival. It unites the community in a spirit of fellowship and is committed to continuous improvement.
Harvest Homecoming History
On the night of Oct. 10, 1967, the community of New Albany debuted its inaugural Pumpkin Festival with a parade. The following weekend, folks gathered downtown to enjoy a farmers market, the sale of pumpkin pie, cider and barbecued chicken, a public square dance, and a battle of the bands. Downtown merchants held a Harvest of Values Square, and the festival culminated with pumpkin growing and decorating and costume contests.
While the initial festival was the creation of the New Albany Chamber of Commerce Tourism Committee – founding members included Cora Jacobs, Henry Ramsier and Paul Lipps – today the annual event beckons hundreds of thousands of visitors to what is now known as Harvest Homecoming.
In its 51st year, Harvest Homecoming is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit and is managed by an all-volunteer board of directors and officers.
DON’T MISS EVENTS
This is only a small sampling of events. For a complete list, go to harvesthomecoming.com.
Saturday, Oct. 6
- Opening Ceremonies: 11:30 a.m., Seventh and Spring streets
Kick off the 2018 Harvest Homecoming festival at opening ceremonies. Musical entertainment TBA and will begin at 10:30 am. Stay and watch the annual parade!
- Harvest Homecoming Parade: 12 p.m., starts at New Albany High School and ends at Bank and Elm streets
Come experience over-the-top floats, vintage cars and more. The parade kicks off at 12 p.m. from New Albany High School, marches down Vincennes Street, takes a right on Spring Street and ends on Bank Street. You can have a front row seat to all the action along any street. This year’s grand marshal is Jesse Ras, cohost of 106.9 Play’s Morning Play program.
Sunday, Oct. 7
- Pumpkin Decorating Contest: 2 p.m., New Albany Farmers Market on corner of Bank and Market streets
This is Harvest Homecoming’s oldest event, Group- or individually-prepared pumpkins may be painted or decorated with any material. Craft entries may be ceramic, fiber or maché. No previous year craft entries accepted. There will be two Grand Champion Awards (one from the Individual category and one from the Group category) for the entry most closely related to this year’s theme, “Pumpkin Bash.” All entrants receive participation award. This event is free. All pumpkins must be picked up and taken from event. Any leftover pumpkins will be thrown away.
Monday, Oct. 8
- Kids’ Dog Show: 5 p.m. registration; 5:30 p.m. start time, at New Albany Amphitheater
Open to kids ages 3-13 years old. Dogs must be at least six months old, have all shots and be on a leash or contained. Awards for Best Costume, Best Trick, A Face Only A Mother Could Love, Best Groomed, Best Overall and Most Interesting Pet (this can be any legal, domestic animal; same vaccination and leash/containment rules apply). Entrants can enter maximum of three categories.
Tuesday, Oct. 9
- Purdue Pumpkin Chunking Competition: 4-7 p.m., Purdue Polytechnic New Albany, 3000 Technology Ave.
Watch teams of all ages fire pumpkins from a gravity-powered trebuchet in this high-flying competition. Awards for accuracy, originality and efficiency will be presented.
Thursday, Oct. 11
- Craft & Food Booth Days Begin: Booths are open 12 to 9 p.m. Oct. 11, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 12, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 13 and 12 to 5 p.m. Oct. 14 on Market, Pearl and Bank streets.
- Bourbon on the River: 5-9 p.m., Sounds Unlimited Productions Party Tent on the New Albany Riverfront
If you like bourbon, this is event is for you. Purchase regular entry tickets for $45 (enter beginning 6 p.m.) or VIP tickets for $60 (enter beginning at 5 p.m.). The VIP Experience includes meeting master distillers; tickets for tastings, tours and door tickets at the distillery; and special souvenirs. A limited number of tickets will be sold for this event. For more information, contact Rosie Bryant at 502.541.4056.
Friday, Oct. 12
- Harvest Homecoming Business Luncheon: Lunch is served 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Sounds Unlimited Productions Party Tent on the New Albany Riverfront
The show will immediately follow lunch and features Brent Rogers as emcee.
Saturday, Oct. 13
- Kids’ Day in the Tent: 12 to 3 p.m., Bicentennial Park at Spring and Pearl streets in downtown New Albany
Don’t miss this free event featuring hands-on activities, displays and interactions for kids through the 6th grade (must be accompanied by an adult). This all takes place under and around the giant white tent at the corner of Spring and Pearl Streets at the Bicentennial Park.
Sunday, Oct. 14
• Closing Ceremonies: 4:15 p.m. at the Harvest Homecoming Stage, State and Market streets
Head to the Harvest Homecoming Stage for Closing Ceremonies, prizes drawings, awards and announcements.
- Fiesta Rides are located at the end of Pearl Street and are open 1 to 6 p.m. Oct. 6 and 7; 5 to 9 p.m. Oct. 8 and 9; and 5 to 10 p.m. Oct. 10. Fiesta Rides will not have set closing time for the following Booth Days: open at 3 p.m. Oct. 11, 11 a.m. Oct. 12, 10 a.m. Oct. 13 and 12 p.m. Oct. 14.