Knob Noster will host its first Harvest Fest later this month.
The idea for the festival came from John Henry and his wife, Monica, who have worked to get community support to put on the event.
“So I’m originally from Southeast Missouri,” John Henry explained. “We were down there at the beginning of August for the rodeo, and we just thought that maybe somebody in our community could do the same thing. We got to talking and Cale Seymour from Seymour Construction, and the next thing you know, we’re putting on a carnival. I think that people are looking for things to do this year. I think that a lot of things have been canceled.”
Harvest Fest will be hosted at 5 p.m. Sept. 24-26 at 1113 NE U.S. Route 50 in Knob Noster. Proceeds will be donated to Knob Noster High School to feed student-athletes on away games.
“People are hurting more than ever and it’s expensive for these kids to eat...” Henry said. “When it’s a home game, they can just go home and have dinner or hopefully go home and have something. On an away deal, they don't get home until 8 or 9 and there may be some families especially right now, that don't have the $8 for the Subway meal.
“No one specially came to us and said, ‘Hey, we have a need for this,’ but we know that these families are having to spend this money,” he added. “We also know that there are a ton of people without a job right now.”
Henry said “lots of people” have come together to make the event happen. The event is funded by sponsorships from area businesses, volunteers and donations.
“If it wasn't for sponsorships and volunteers, this would have never came about...” Henry commented. “The whole idea was bringing our community together. We actually have a very large community when you consider Whiteman Air Force Base, Knob Noster and then the surrounding areas. So the idea is to just try to bring them together.”
The fest will feature a full carnival with rides and food. There will be a beer garden with a live DJ Thursday and Friday nights. On Saturday, Amped Up Productions will host professional bull riding at 7 p.m., followed by another beer garden featuring a performance from Dirt Road Addiction around 10 p.m.
Several area vendors will also be present, although Henry said organizers are still looking for more. The vendors listed now include the local VFW ladies’ auxiliary with a quilt raffle, hot dogs, wreaths, K Town Convenience, Kona Ice and more.
Several Knob Noster High School organizations are also involved.
“The idea was we went to the school, and we wanted to give the school organizations an opportunity to come and raise money for their own projects,” Henry explained. “They’re going to spend their money on whatever they want to spend it on. The FFA is coming. They’re not going to be charged a vendor fee or anything like that. They’re putting on a petting zoo. They’re also going to have Betsy Bingo.”
The entire event will be outside and organizers have ensured there is room for social distancing. There will also be hand sanitizer stations. Johnson County’s mask mandate expires Sept. 14, and the county health department has announced it will not renew the order.
“We’re going to have twice as much seating as what we’re expecting in customers so we can allow for social distancing,” Henry said. “... We are going to strongly suggest that people wear a mask, but it’s totally their choice. It’s not going to be a requirement to attend.”
Henry said he hopes the inaugural year is successful so the community can continue the tradition and help other area organizations.
“The idea has been thrown around about maybe a full-blown rodeo, maybe we do a mud run, maybe we do a tractor pull,” he said. “Then we find some other organization or other need in our community and we use the money to fill that void…
“We just hope that people understand that it’s all about supporting our community,” he later added. “That all of the proceeds are going to be used for community needs. We’d love to see them out, we’d love to have (more) vendors. Everybody is welcome.”
For more information, check out the event’s Facebook page at https://bit.ly/3kiyzPw. Interested vendors can contact Henry at 660-287-4049.