Hildebrand holds yearly harvest festival

Weston Reed and Kelly Glasgow jump in a bed of straw at the 2016 Harvest Festival. This year's free Harvest Festival will be held Oct. 7 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

It may stay warm for a few more days, but there’s an undeniable chill in the air that says autumn is here to stay.

With autumn comes fall leaves, pumpkins, and harvest festivals.

Hildebrand Dairy will hold its annual harvest festival from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturday.

According to Co-owner of the dairy, Kathy Hildebrand, the event should provide fun for the whole family.

“It’s kind of geared toward kids,” she said. “But everybody can enjoy a part of it.”

Admission to the festival is free-of-charge.

There will be tours of the dairy facilities all throughout the day, hayrack rides, and milking demonstrations periodically throughout the event — all activities which adults might enjoy.

For the younger set, there will be a cow-shaped bouncy house, a children’s craft area, a hay bale play area where children can roll around in straw, and a sandbox-like corn pit for children to play in.

Samples of the dairy’s products, such as milk, cheese, butter and sausage, will be offered to guests during the festival. The shop will be open during the event so guests can purchase products if they like. Also available for purchase will be pumpkins which the Hildebrands bring in from a Kansas producer located outside Clay Center.

A free will donation picnic lunch will be provided by Compassionate Ministries of the Junction City Church of the Nazarene.

Live music will be played by Kansas singer-songwriter Savanna Chestnut throughout the day.

According to Hildebrand, this offers child participants a sample of something they may not have grown up with in this high-tech age.

“It is (valuable) that they learn about where their milk comes from,” she said.

During the event, the cows will be out where people can see them. Milking demonstrations tours of the facilities will teach young participants that milk doesn’t come from a carton purchased at the grocery store.

“It is a good community event that brings a lot of people out from the community and educates them on what happens on a dairy farm,” Hildebrand said.

It’s a good reminder too, she said, to the community-at-large about what Junction City has right outside its city limits.

“A lot of times, until we have one of these kinds of events, people don’t even realize that we’re out here,” Hildebrand said. “We have such an influx with Fort Riley and people changing all the time.”

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