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Harvest Homecoming is in full swing in New Albany this weekend

Carnival rides in downtown New Albany
Aprile Rickert
New Albany's Harvest Homecoming Festival runs through Sunday.

Harvest Homecoming, a more than 50-year-old fall street festival, is in full swing this weekend in downtown New Albany.

What started as the three-day “Pumpkin Festival” more than 50 years ago now draws thousands to downtown New Albany each year.

It's a chance to reunite with old friends, meet local business owners and election candidates and, if you grew up in New Albany, there’s a really good chance you’ll run into your second grade teacher.

Booths stretch for several blocks in the heart of downtown, just up the hill from the festival rides and games. There’s also plenty of events and entertainment, including live music.

But other than the planned and unplanned reunions, perhaps the biggest part of the festival is the food.

Jeffersonville resident Lili Sartini had to make a stop Thursday specifically for the Harvest Homecoming famous chicken and dumplings, because they’re “just really good.”

It was the first time for Louisville resident Aleshia Booker, who was with 10-year-old Alonnie — a big fan of the cake pops.

Aprile Rickert
Harvest Homecoming-goers streamed through the streets of downtown New Albany on the first day the food and vendor booths opened Thursday.

A typical Harvest Homecoming booth day includes attendees streaming through the crowds carrying plates with sugar-dusted funnel cakes, or corn on the cob — served by members of a local Boy Scout troop.

“Honestly we like to try a bit of everything,” said Jessica Washburn, owner at Southern Indiana based Fistful of Tacos. “The dumplings are good, the corn is good…we like to switch out food and try everything.”

Fistful of Tacos as well as Fistful of Ale has treats to offer at the festival along with fare from other local restaurants, like Israel's Delicias De Mexico Gourmet and Bella Roma.

Washburn said Firstful of Tacos first served at the New Albany festival in 2015.

“It was actually our very first festival, very first food truck event, everything,” Washburn said. “So Harvest Homecoming is a special thing to us.”

The festival runs through Sunday. For more information, visit harvesthomecoming.com.

Coverage of Southern Indiana is funded, in part, by Samtec Inc. and the Hazel & Walter T. Bales Foundation.

Aprile Rickert is LPM's Southern Indiana reporter. Email Aprile at arickert@lpm.org.

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