In the early 20th century before the Los Angeles Aqueduct, the Owens Valley was quite the agricultural produce area, and
now a current event will remember the former harvests.
The Harvest Heritage Day event is free to the public and fashioned after the Harvest Festivals held in each town in the Owens Valley at the turn of the century, according to Eastern California Museum Director Jon Klusmire. In the past, towns put on parades with floats featuring local produce of local farms. Music, dances, barbeques, bingo and a day of fun were all part of those historical harvest celebrations. The Museum, the Friends of the Eastern California Museum, and the Manzanar History Association are reviving this tradition of celebration.
Harvest Heritage Day happens Saturday, October 23 from 1pm to 5pm at the Eastern California Museum, 155 N. Grant St. in Independence (three blocks west of the historic courthouse). The public is encouraged to bring homemade baked goods with a fall theme to the festival. Apple pies and cobblers, peach pie, cookies and other goodies, including james and preserves, will be displayed and then eaten.
A quirky feature of the festival will find vegetables actually dressed in clothes, small clothes to be sure. Local gardeners are asked to bring their largest vegetables, like squash or zucchini, and dress them up inf estive clothing for fun. The Independence Civic Club will take the lead on this one.
Attendees can enjoy free hot dogs, chili, desserts and drinks. Sandy and the High Country will entertain. Kids can get into games, including bobbing for apples, pumpkin painting, pin the tail ont he scarecrew and more.
Local historian Jane Wehrey will present her program, “Three Marys of Manzanar: Remembering Autumn’s Layered Past,” in the museum at 2pm and 4pm. For more info, call the Museum at 878-0258.