The annual Augusta Harvest Festival will be September 21st, 22nd and 23rd. Sponsored by the Greater Augusta Chamber of Commerce, the festival starts Friday evening with the ever-popular “Swingin’ in the Vines” concert and picnic in the vineyard.
This year it will be held at its original location, a private estate now called Honey Bee Vineyards, in Augusta. Board a pumpkin wagon to the Vineyard, claim your gourmet picnic basket, have port in one of the original vaulted wine cellars in Augusta, then enjoy Michael Lacey and his New Orleans Swing band as the sun sets across the vineyard. A picnic basket for two is $100. This event sells out each year and is limited to 100 baskets, so get your tickets early. Transportation to the vineyard starts at 5:30 p.m. The event starts at 6 p.m. Reservations are required. No outside food or beverages permitted.
Saturday is a fun filled day. A new event for this year is the “Harvest Fest 5K” run/walk – A challenging run starting at 9 a.m. at the Augusta Katy Trail Head and ending at Mt. Pleasant Estates Winery. The male and female winners will each receive a hand-blown wine glass made by Augusta’s own nationally recognized glass artist, Sam Stang. Pre-registration is required. Sign up at www.runsignup.com/Race/MO/Augusta/HarvestFest5K. The pre-race music and anthem will be provided by the “paulosmallband.”
Other highlights of the day will be a pancake breakfast at Ebenezer UCC from 7-10 a.m. Judging for the pie baking contest begins at 9 a.m. Prizes will be awarded for the best fruit pie, the best cream pie, and the best Junior Pie Baker (Children’s competition.) The Harvest Parade begins at 10 a.m. followed by pie walks and pie sale, artists and artisans on the streets, a corn hole competition (at the ballpark), and for the children: pony rides, face painting, a huge inflatable obstacle course, a potato sack race, a pie-eating contest and more. Winners of the winning pie raffles will be announced at 12 noon. Special music will feature an eclectic assembly of extraordinarily talented Augusta area musicians called “The Sounds of Augusta.”
Saturday night will be the “Fruit of the Harvest Dinner”. For the past nine years the Saturday evening event has showcased the Augusta area wine makers. This year the event sets the bar even higher. All GACC wineries were invited to submit their favorite wine. A gourmet menu has been created to pair with the wines at the “Fruit of the Harvest Dinner” held on the lawn, under the stars, at the private estate of the Honey Bee Vineyard in Augusta. This event is Wine Country at its best! Seating is limited to 100 guests. Cost is $85.00 per person. Dinner starts at 6 p.m. Transportation to the estate starts at 5:30 p.m. Reservations required.
Sunday is Heritage Day, with activities centered at Augusta’s historic Harmonie-Verein/American Legion Hall. Legion members will offer their famous fried chicken/pork steak dinner from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
From 12 to 3 p.m. come listen to, dance, or sing along with “The Hungry Five”. Playing music of German culture, this group has performed around Missouri, traveled to many other locales in the United States including our nation’s capital and the capitals of several states, and two tours to Europe. The opportunity to have this special group performing for this year’s event was made possible by a donation to help preserve and promote the Harmonie-Verein/American Legion as the historical Augusta Cultural Arts Center. A guided walking tour, led by Paul Kampen, will feature key sites that help tell the rich German-American history of Augusta. The tour will begin at the Gazebo at 12:45 p.m.
The talented Augusta Arts Campers will be on stage in the Harmonie-Verein from 3-4 pm. They will entertain us with music, drumming and drama. Come by and enjoy this free performance and get a sample of what Augusta Arts Camp has to offer.
The entire weekend offers multiple opportunities to enjoy and appreciate Augusta and all it has to offer. Plan now to visit Sept. 21-23 and join in the festivities.