OSCODA – The smell of freshly popped kettle corn wafted through the crowd of festival goers during Harmony Weekend in Harrisville.
After being closed down in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, festival goers returned from across the state to enjoy the art, crafts, food and music the festival offered on Saturday and Sunday Sept. 4 and 5.
On Saturday, a group of high school students from Saginaw came to participate in the chalk art contest. A wide variety of art including drawings of unicorns and beach scenes, complete with lighthouses, were drawn on the tennis courts. The contest included prizes for first, second and third place by age group and was sponsored by Inspire Alcona.
Vendors agreed that especially Saturday was a great day in terms of attendance, enthusiasm and purchases.
Charlie Doan, owner of Kettle Nation, was a vendor at the festival for the first time. He and his staff were busy all day Saturday selling kettle corn, caramel corn and mixed berry corn.
“Fantastic, we did great. We got so busy we ran out of ingredients,” he said. “We’ll be here next year.”
Lori and Brian Deweerd from Hudsonville, have been selling oak furniture at the festival for the past four or five years.
“Excellent, Saturday especially. People were happy to be out and we were happy to see them,” is how she described the festival. She added that people were here to buy and that she “will most definitely be back.”
“The Svede” Erik Johnson was selling an array of skin care products. He was also a first-time vendor and said he got to meet a lot of people and hand out a lot of cards. “Amazing, we have done super great,” added the woman who was helping at his booth. They both agreed that they would definitely be back.
A crowd favorite was the array of pork options offered by Dan the Smokin’ Man who staffs a booth with family and members of the Knights of Columbus. Dan’s son-in-law, who was working the booth, said it was one of their best Saturdays. They have been vendors at the festival since 2007 and share their proceeds with the Knights of Columbus.
On Saturday, festival goers were lined up for half a block to buy pulled pork sandwiches and kettle corn. Other food choices included hotdogs and ice cream.
Arthur Lund, who was selling sunglasses on the church grounds outside of the festival, said the festival went “super great, better than it has been,” and added that he had been selling sunglasses for the past decade.
Lenny Avery, Executive Director of the Alcona County Commission on Aging, was obtain public input on plans for a multi-family development in Lincoln at his booth. The planned development would be located adjacent to Kris Market and include rental housing and a variety of family-friendly amenities. Individuals who completed the survey received an ICAN Help Alcona t-shirt. For those who missed the opportunity at the festival, the survey can be completed at ICAN Alcona - Alcona Seniors.
Although both days were cool and mostly cloudy, the rain held off until early Sunday afternoon. At that point festival goers dispersed. For those who wanted to make last minute purchases or take a bag of kettle corn or a pulled pork sandwich home, there were no lines by later Sunday afternoon.