Sewickley Harvest Festival returns bigger than ever

Thursday, August 29, 2019 | 10:07 AM

A yearly tradition returns Sept. 7 when the Sewickley Harvest Festival takes over the Village.

The 29th annual event, presented by the Quaker Valley Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs of Sewickley, will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Broad and Thorn streets. More than 120 vendors will sell wares, food and refreshments.

“It’s been a huge success,” said Bob Bagans, event chairman and Sewickley Kiwanis Club president.

As many as 10,000 people attend the popular festival, whether to shop, to eat or to catch up with friends. They’ll have plenty of space to peruse, as Broad Street will be closed from Beaver Street to Thorn Street, and Thorn will be closed from Broad to Chestnut Street.

In addition to vendors, local organizations will give demonstrations. Sewickley’s Cochran Hose Company will hold an open house, and the police department will host activities throughout the day in front of the borough building.

The Quaker Valley Key Club will operate a kids corner at the Wolcott Park gazebo, and several area churches, including Sewickley Presbyterian and Sewickley United Methodist, will host rummage sales and other events. St. Matthews AME Zion Church, on the corner of Walnut and Thorn, will cook up a bevy of dishes during its Soul Food Celebration.

“It’s a huge day,” Bagans said. “I won’t even venture to guess where (everyone parks.) But they do, and it’s free.”

The Harvest Fest is the biggest fundraiser for the Rotary and Kiwanis clubs, which split the proceeds from vendor table rentals.

The event brought in about $10,000 last year. Bagans, who starts planning for the fest in January, said the event wouldn’t be the success it is without the support of the borough. The money the organization makes from the event goes back to the community.

“All funds go to service projects of both clubs,” said Bagans.

Popular food vendors selling hot sausage and pastries return this year, as do sand art for kids and original signs. The Rotary will have a food booth with hot dogs and funnel cake, and the Kiwanis Club will sell pop and bottled water.

A DJ will play tunes and provide a soundtrack for the crowd.

Even if the weather doesn’t cooperate, the festival will go on.

“Last year it rained, and the vendors did very well,” Bagans said. “Rain or shine, we’ll be here.”