Here we go a harvesting....

Friday afternoon was our school's Harvest Festival. The afternoon begins with the Michaelmas play "St. George and the Dragon" complete with music, dancing, and the taming of a huge dragon--huge enough for the entire 5th grade to get in and clomp about.

After the play the festival began. Each class had made a scarecrow for decorations. I like this skiing scarecrow.

This scarecrow looks like he's off to scare a few fish.

The 7th graders did face painting. I was called in to substitute for a bit. A face painter I am not. There were many young children running about with poorly drawn hearts on their cheeks courtesy of me!

We strive to make the Harvest Festival have a feel to it of great energy, strength, and fire--quite different from the watery, breezy May Fair. The activities reflect this with obstacle courses, relay races, and other energetic games.

The children got to try their hands at blacksmithing and made little rings and horseshoes.

This year there was a series of "logging events" for the middle school. There was a caper toss, log relay, and two-man crosscut saw contest. It's hard to find activities to engage the older kids and this was a big hit.

There are lots of apples at the festival. Apples on a string...

the cider press...

the apple peeler...

...and lots of apple crisp!

New this year were big washtubs of birdseed to pour your hands through in the hopes of finding a golden acorn.

Many of the younger children made these beautiful leaf crowns. Weren't the directions for these just published in Living Craft magazine?

I was amazed to come home to comments from two homeschooling families who had "blog moments" and recognized the girls from In these hills. What fun and I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to meet you, Caren and Nicole. If you saw the play, Hels was one of the girls on stilts making all the mothers wonder at my sanity for allowing her to do such a thing.

It was a wonderful festival and it put us in the mood for the great energy that is autumn.

Dawn  – (October 5, 2008 at 12:02 PM)  

There were so many fun ideas in this post that I had never heard of before. Those leaf crowns, and searching in those big tubs for a golden acorn...I love it! It sounds like a great festival.
I've always wondered what it would be like to see someone in day to day life and recognize them from blogging. ;)

Lisa Anne  – (October 5, 2008 at 2:21 PM)  

What a really lovely festival. These are moments that I am craving here but we just haven't found...tomorrow we are going to visit a sheep dairy in Hudson Valley, NY that is looking for a farming family to take over the business, not too far from Hawthorne Valley W.S. (they have a high school...)I loved making those leaf crowns with Amelia when she was younger, I think I will go out now and make one for myself!

patience  – (October 5, 2008 at 4:11 PM)  

Beautiful festival, you have such a great school. The leaf crowns were glorious - I wish it was autumn here so we could make some!

Liz  – (October 5, 2008 at 9:57 PM)  

It looks like a fantastic festival! I love the crowns and the golden acorn idea. Thanks for sharing.

denise  – (October 6, 2008 at 2:10 AM)  

That looks like an awesome festival!

Simmy –   – (October 6, 2008 at 9:40 AM)  

I love the way you celebrated at your school.

Here they do it quite differently. The day started with assembly and Raj's class performing a play about St Michael and then the whole school was outside chopping wood, making compost dragons, picking and pressing apples. Tom took the day off to help out. Must say your fesitval sounds more fun and more thought out.

btw did you get my email about two weeks ago?

Yarrow  – (October 6, 2008 at 10:23 AM)  

Look slike a fun and lovely time. Thank you for sharing the photos. Blessings.

Nicole  – (October 6, 2008 at 6:30 PM)  

Yes, we did see the stilts!!My six year old was just amazed! The day was so wonderful, aside from the play our favorites were searching for golden acorns which now have a special place on our nature table. The leaf crowns were simply gorgeous! we have ours pressed in a book hoping to preserve the memories from the day! I agree the games did convey "strength" and "great energy" this was our first Waldorf festival, it was a wonderful way to enter this season! we hope to be part of the next festivals at the school as well. What a BEAUTIFUL school and community of people, I will let you know the next time we go it would be nice to meet you!

Anonymous –   – (October 6, 2008 at 11:18 PM)  

I am all for native plants, but I sure do miss all the gorgeous maples back there! Sounds like you all had a great time.

Angela  – (October 7, 2008 at 6:33 AM)  

What a glorious autumn day for you all! I'm jealous yet again...! Thanks for sharing all the photos!

Anonymous –   – (October 7, 2008 at 11:46 PM)  

Oh yes, there was such a wonderful feeling of vitality in the air that day! It was such a treat for us to join in the festivities with so many folks, since we live in a fairly rural area and don't have much opportunity to connect with other like-minded folks (except for you, Nicole!) Everyone at the school was so welcoming--I'm sure we'll be back for another festival in the future.

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