Harvest Boone Festivals helps with hunger coalition

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Molly Flinchum

Gati Productions will be host the fifth annual Harvest Boone Festival from Sept. 18-20 at the Sugar Hollow Retreat in Butler, Tennessee. The festival will help introduce community members to local businesses in Watauga County while collecting food to the Hunger and Health Coalition.

The project started five years ago when local Jeremiah Brown took on the task of coming up with a service project for the community. The event he originally organized is now the annual winter festival, Harvest Boone, and a summer festival, Boone in Blossom

This Harvest Festival has new features this year, according to Brown, including a  “Non-Violent Direct Action for Everyone” workshop.

Brown described the new location at  Sugar Hollow as “ideal” due to a lack of  noise restriction. Live music at the festival will continue to play past 11 p.m.  There will be performances by The Nude Party, Dirty Soul Revival, Afrolachian, Demon Bow, Kendra Warren, Sensation of Falling, OneTrackMind, Vitamin Pets, Space Canoe, Galaxy Jam and Talking Box Company.

The Nude Party will perform on Saturday evening. The band refers to Brown as a close friend and they collectively re-shingled Brown’s roof in exchange for playing at the festival, they said.

One thing that has stayed constant is the food collection for the Hunger and Health Coalition, Brown said.

“It makes it more special when people put their cans right into the truck instead of blindly giving money,” Brown said. “The community can consciously give and see where their proceeds are being taken.”

Junior biology Major Ian Ratcliff agrees.

“Traditionally, you can donate a certain amount of food items in addition to cash to gain entry,” he said. “Which makes a lot of sense to me. There’s a direct connection to the goods being exchanged at this event. We are visibly seeing who we help.”

Brown said the ultimate goal of the event is building a community.

“There’s something different for everyone to find [at Harvest Boone], since we do so many ceremonial practices around here,” Brown said. “Ultimately, we want to help to build a sense of community together. We want people to feel closer to themselves and the people in their town.”

Weekend passes can be purchased for $40, or individuals can pay $20 and then donate 20 non-perishable food items in order to get into the festival.

In the past, the event has donated over 2 tons of food to the hunger coalition.

Molly Flinchum, Intern A&E Reporter