Harvest Moon starts on Friday

by Tom Coombe
Ely’s Harvest Moon Festival is far more than arts and crafts and food.
In addition to the staples of the end-of-summer celebration, now in its 26th year, entertainment is also a key part of the event slated for Whiteside Park next weekend.
The festival begins Friday, Sept. 6 and runs through the weekend, with a dog show and music serving as two key attractions.
The All-Star Stunt Dogs Challenge returns to delight audiences. It stars dogs that have been rescues from pounds and shelters, and features the dogs performing air stunts, athletic feats and high-jumping challenges. Two, 30 minute shows are scheduled each day with an opportunity after each show to meet and greet.
The music component kicks off Friday with Timmy Haus, who performs a variety of genres from Paul Simon to Johnny Cash and more.
On Sunday, Sept. 8, the festival welcomes one of Ely’s favorite singing groups, The Singing Slovenes, for two performances. This non-profit group was formed to promote the Slovenian heritage through native costume and song. The Singing Slovenes will perform from 11 a.m. to noon and again from 1 to 2 p.m., on the final day of the festival. Their guest performer this year is Kerry Christensen the “Yodeling Master.”
On the middle day of the festival is a fall-themed Harvest Market, filled with baskets of chrysanthemums, and fresh produce, Artisan and ethnic breads, bagels and rolls, and Finnish baked goods such as tarts, cardamom bread, and apple strudel. Visitors can also take home some fresh Minnesota-grown eggs or meat such as beef, pork, chicken, lamb and goat.
The dog show, music and harvest market are on top of an arts and craft show that features about 125 vendors, the always popular food court, as well as children’s activities, pony rides and a petting zoo..
Sponsored by the Ely Chamber of Commerce, the Harvest Moon Festival compares in some respects to the July Blueberry/Art Festival, but on a smaller scale.
The hours for the festival are Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.