Cane Hill Harvest Festival Set
The 32nd Cane Hill Harvest Festival, Sept. 15-16, will have lots of live music, along with traditional features that include food, arts and crafts and a chance to look back at the past.
Two new features this year include a pop-up art exhibition and sale from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., both days. Oil paintings, watercolors, prints, photographs and other artwork will be on display to see and purchase from recognized artists in Northwest Arkansas. The show will be in the historic A.R. Carroll building on Highway 45 in Cane Hill.
The other feature is a presentation on the history of churches in Cane Hill by David Ellis. The program will be held 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16, in the Cane Hill Presbyterian Church.
The Cane Hill College restoration is complete and visitors will be able to see the changes made to the historic school.
Cane Hill College reopened to
the public in May 2017, following a 2 ½-year project to restore and refurbish the two-story brick building by Historic Cane Hill Inc., a non-profit organization. Cane Hill College was founded by Cumberland Presbyterians in 1834, and was the first collegiate institution of learning established in Arkansas.
Other activities at the Harvest Festival include a quilt show, tractor show, inflatables for children, camel rides, children’s games and a petting zoo. Area residents will be on hand to show how they make sorghum molasses, lye soap and hominy.
Admission to the Harvest Festival is free. Parking is $3.
Tom Pennel, who chairs the event for Cane Hill College Committee, said the first festival was held in the spring in the mid-1960s and was called Pioneer Days. It was rained out many years and so organizers decided to move it to the fall and change the name to Harvest Festival.
“The whole deal was to raise money to keep the college from falling down,” Pennel said. “If it wasn’t for them, the college would be a pile of stones.”
Some of the people from the original festival are still alive and the Committee wants to keep the Festival going in honor of those who started it, Pennel said. However, he said more volunteers are needed each year.
Historic buildings in Cane Hill will be open during the Festival and the public is invited to go into the Historic Cane Hill Museum, A.R. Carroll Drugstore or stroll along the walking trail to learn more about the history of Cane Hill.
Both days, the Festival opens with an all-you-caneat country breakfast from 7-10 a.m. for $8. Arts and crafts vendors will open at 9 a.m. both days and the first event will be a performance by Heritage School at 10 a.m.
In all, 10 area groups will perform during the two-day festival. Groups include Morgan Squared, The Dirtbox Wallers, Flying Buzzards and Kelly Road Band.
Visitors to the annual Cane Hill Harvest Festival can use how sorghum molasses is made. In this photo from the 2017 Festival, Earl Rowe of Lincoln, left, and Luke Haegele of Cane Hill use a crushing mill powered by tractor to get the juice from sorghum grass, grown specifically for the Cane Hill Harvest Festival each year.
Many beautiful quilts are on display at the Cane Hill Harvest Festival each year. The quilts can be seen in the historic Cane Hill College.
Leonard Reed of Cane Hill cooks the sorghum juice to make molasses at the 2017 Cane Hill Harvest Festival. This year’s Festival will be held Saturday and Sunday.