Cranberry Harvest

Yesterday we attended the A.D. Makepeace Cranberry Harvest Celebration in Wareham, MA.  A. D. Makepeace is the largest cranberry grower in the world. The festival offers a nice balance between fun activities and learning about the harvest (mostly through fun activities!). It was a pefect fall day to explore the cranberry bogs and learn about the cranberry harvest. For busy families, a festival like this is a great way to get outdoors together- no planning necessary- just show up!

One thing I love about this festival is that it really is all about the cranberries and what is local. And, it is affordable for families. Admission is only $2.00 per person, under 7 free. If you bring non-perishable food items for a local food pantry, admission is free. Once you're inside, there is plenty to do free of charge, including a bog tour. There are also loads of picnic tables in the main festival area, at the bog, and even in the parking lot, so families can pack a lunch (no coolers allowed, though). For those who want to spend some money, there's plenty of food to choose from, a crafter's tent, and various hay rides, moon bounces, and helicopter rides.

Yes, there are vendors, but this is not a highly commercial festival. Makepeace also hosts organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, the Lions club, and edible South Shore. These groups share news about their good work and, in some cases, raise funds for their organizations.

One of my favorites at the festival is the "bridge" set up at the harvest site. Visitors climb up and over the trucks as they're loaded.
From above, you can see the berries come off the belt  
and land in the back of a tractor trailer.

There were also jugglers, a bluegrass band, and an owl show. Then there's one of my kid' favorites...a GIANT sand pile that inspires kids and adults alike to roll, jump, skid, and slide. There's nothing like some good old fun for the kid in all of us. Best of all, we got to be outdoors.

Obviously, this harvest festival is over for the year, but the harvest continues. If you live in Massachusetts, you can probably find a bog and watch the harvest from the road. My son's school bus has been known to stop for a few minutes when they're ahead of schedule to watch the helicopters load up. We can still hear them working every day.

How about where you live? Is it harvest time now? Have you attended any good fall/harvest celebrations. Are there ones you plan to attend in the next couple of weeks?