Harvest fairs traditionally celebrate the fall gathering of the crops. But in Needham the Harvest Fair is a gathering of the community, highlighting local organizations and businesses — with the crops provided by the Needham Farmers Market.
Nearly 100 exhibitors will fill Greene’s Field on Sunday, Oct. 1, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the annual event. Hosted by the town and the Charles River Chamber, the fair has been a tradition for some 30 years.
“It has changed and grown in new and exciting ways through the years,” says Paula Jacobson, executive director of the Charles River Y and former committee chair of the Needham Business Alliance of the chamber. “We’re involving more nonprofits, more information for families and people in the Needham community to share and learn about everything Needham has to offer.”
A cross section of Needham organizations are participating, from retailers and restaurants to community service groups, arts and education programs, real estate agents, local banks and health and wellness providers. Ten town departments and agencies will be represented, including nurses from the Public Health Department who will offer flu shots. There will be a variety of activities for children including face painting, balloon artists, a bouncy house and a town fire truck to explore.
A centerpiece of the fair each year is a pumpkin patch courtesy of Louise Condon and Condon Realty. “It’s always been very successful, people love to pick up a pumpkin,” said Condon, who orders 750 of them. “They all go!”
Condon and others consider the fair an opportunity to give exposure to local businesses and organizations. “It’s a good time for everyone to get together and come around to say hello,” she said.
Jeff Friedman, president of the farmers market, sees it as a two-way opportunity. “It’s great for the community to increase their familiarity with the market, and great for our vendors to have more visibility with the community.“ He said the farmers market has served Needham for 10 years. “So this is something we want to do.”
Because the Charles River Y is adjacent to Greene’s Field, its doors will be open to welcome anyone who may need water or bathroom facilities, or just want to learn about the Y. “Some people may not know there’s a pool in the building, or that we offer swim lessons, or that we don’t turn anybody away,“ said Jacobson.
The chamber is enthusiastic about showcasing local businesses and community organizations while celebrating the fall season in a townwide gathering.
“Working closely with the town of Needham, the Needham Business Alliance committee and the Needham Farmers Market, the Charles River Chamber is thrilled to be returning this longstanding Needham tradition to Greene’s Field,” said Lise Elcock, vice president of membership and development. “We couldn’t do it without our participating members; new and longtime volunteers; generous sponsors; and the community at large who come out to support the event.”