This week with beautiful Fall colors all around us, we will look back at the history of our Valley Home School Harvest Festival. It was almost 20 years ago an enthusiastic group of folks met and discussed the possibility of a school/community event. We were looking for a way to support our Valley Home students and our Valley Home Community! Many of the longtime residents will tell you of a peaceful life, surrounded by lush green pastures and shimmering lakes of rice beds. The community celebrated the harvest and held most events in the beautiful old Community Center. The Community Center was home to school graduations, weddings, reunions, dinners, fundraisers, and gatherings of all types! It was an important place, a place cherished by all, a place where community would come together and share the joys of living in this rural community. The Community Center is located where our Valley Home Community Park is now! Although the Valley Home Community was devastated to lose the well-used and well-worn Community Center, it was even more devastating to the folks who had called this beautiful community home for most if not all of their lives to lose such a special place. With nowhere to hold events, our community passed a tax bond to build a multipurpose room at our Valley Home School. Excitement was everywhere in our community as we planned our first harvest event. Folks met and discussed whether it would be called Harvest Fair or Harvest Festival, it became the Harvest Festival! This annual event was started to celebrate our rural way of life and show appreciation for a successful harvest season, while supporting our Valley Home students. It was meant to be a community school event where families could come and afford to treat their entire family to dinner, enjoy treats and share the fun of a small town atmosphere. Friends and neighbors looked forward to the Harvest Festival and over the years it became a much loved tradition in our community! This year we were blessed with the perfect weather and a large turnout. Children ran and played together, families visited with friends from throughout the community, friendly hellos were shared all around the Festival! It was a beautiful night in our small community. Although I chair this event, my job is very small when compared to the work done by so many! So many people come together from both our school and our community to make this such a very special event in Valley Home. This year we were thankful to have one of our longtime Valley Home families make the hayride a reality with their big red tractor and trailer piled high with hay. Our Harvest Festival celebrates rural families! Thank you to all who made this night possible! If you have an idea or a thought to share please call me, Winnie, at 209-985-5233.