Local members of the community got the chance to indulge in all of fall’s defining activities and foods at the Lynchburg Community Market this past weekend for Harvest at the Market.
Harvest at the Market was held Oct. 29 downtown. The event was an opportunity to bring families and friends together to participate in fall activities, shop at the markets local vendors and meet other members of the community. The market was fully decorated with harvest colors and themes suitable for the time of season.
Local vendors appealed to the season by selling pumpkins, fresh apple cider, autumn foods and desserts. Activities located throughout various parts of the market included guessing the weight of pumpkins, face painting, ring around the pumpkin, pumpkin painting and trick or treating at the local vendors.
Travis Schwartz, also known as Balloon Dude Travis, was creating balloon animals for kids and adults as people arrived at the Harvest Festival. Schwartz’s balloon animal creations were not the normal balloon animals one is used to seeing. Schwartz added a seasonal theme specifically for the event by creating skeletons, ghosts, harvest hats, pumpkins, aliens, bats and goblins.
“I am here to make sure the kids are happy, have something to do and something to take home,” Schwartz said.
Schwartz believes that the harvest market is about creating an atmosphere of bringing people closer and getting ready for Halloween and Thanksgiving.
Adults with their children waited in line to receive a balloon animal from Schwartz. Madison Wilson, 8, received a balloon wand with a pink heart inside. To show her Harvest spirit, Wilson dressed up as a Liberty Universty cheerleader.
“I like coming to the Harvest Market to eat the pumpkin pies, and I can’t wait to go trick or treating,” Wilson said.
Even some parents joined in with their children by wearing costumes, ready for a few hours of trick or treating.
Nancy Norton dressed up as a monster with her two children James, 3, and Sandy, 1.
Norton explained that it was her families first time coming to the Harvest Festival, and it was a great time to get her family out.
“We are having fun and I love that the event is inside where it is warm,” Norton said.
Both Jacob Green, 2, and Amelia Green, 2, were dressed up as lambs. Their parents watched them participate in the ring around the pumpkin activity. Jennifer Green, the siblings mom, explained how it was also her family’s first time coming to the Harvest Market.
“This is a time to let the kids experience some fall activities, dress up and have fun,” Green said.
Another popular activity was pumping painting. Sitting at the table painting her pumpkin was Madison Carson, 10, who was accompanied by her mom.
“My pumpkin has yellow eyes, a green noise, a red mouth with yellow and green braces, green hair and yellow highlights,” Carson said.
Amongst the vendors were Lorraine’s Bakery and Chocolate R Us. Co-Owner of Lorraine’s Bakery, Steve Hackman, explained why foods such as the fresh butternut squash bread, apple turnovers and desserts shaped like candy corn were specifically made for the theme.
Specifically for the Harvest event, Chocolate R Us served chocolate treats that were created to look like spiders, ghosts, leafs, pumpkins and skeletons. The chocolate shop also offered seasonal flavors like pumpkin, spiced apple and caramel apple.
Market Manager at Lynchburg Community Market Jennifer Kennedy explained how this was the first time that most of the kids activities were brought back and how it was important that along with the great shopping available, the kids also had something available to them
The Lynchburg Community Market hosts the Harvest Market annually. The market is also open to residents of the community and visitors Tuesday to Saturday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information on Lynchburg Community Market, visit www.lynchburgva.gov.