Harvest Moon Festival Shines Brightly

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Families Enjoyed Vendors and Music

By Casey Sullivan

Hampton Union, Tuesday, October 12, 2010

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online]

HAMPTON BEACH -- Kids from along the Seacoast danced to the tunes of Wayne from Maine, a children's musician who performed on Ocean Boulevard at the second annual Harvest Moon Fall Festival.

The Sunday festival served as a platform for local venders, artists and musicians from Hampton and beyond to gather and offer residents and tourists a taste of what Hampton Beach can be like in fall.

"You get beautiful days like this (in the fall) where people come to the beach, but there's nothing to do," said Hampton Beach Village District Marketing Director John Kane at the Oct. 10 event that gave residents and tourists plenty of activities to enjoy.

"It's the perfect time of year to come here," added festival organizer June White.

White said she had seen kids coming out of the ocean throughout the day after a mid-October swim, noting that the water was as warm as it typically is during the early summer.

The event was frequented by hundreds of people throughout the day.

A dance contest resulted from the Wayne from Maine rock-out session in a close three-way competition between Simeon Mills, 7, of Seabrook, Logan Adelman, 5, of Agawam, Mass., and Oliver Harris, 4, of Marlborough, Mass. Harris ended up taking first place in the dance-off.

Adelman said he looks forward to participating in "Dancing with the Stars" when he grows up.

The festival also featured Gregory Grady, and his son, Greg, the two men behind the Hampton Beach Sand Sculpting Competition, who carved pumpkins on-scene for kids and adults alike.

The pair took requests and sliced pumpkins to bear engravings such as the Patriots, University of New Hampshire and Harley-Davidson logos.

The items sold for between $50 and $150.

"It's not your typical jack-o-lantern," Kane said with a grin.

"Last year we did a ten-ton sand sculpture," explained Gregory Grady. "This year we did something a bit different."

Grady was referring to a pumpkin head figurine he had carved with his son, standing at least 10 feet high, which onlookers admired as they passed by the Gradys' carving table.

Numerous beach businesses which normally shut down for the season by Columbus Day weekend remained open Sunday to help host a healthy crowd of fall beachgoers.

Some felt the festival had made improvements since last year's event.

"I think there are more appropriate venders this year," said Tom McGuirk of McGuirk's Ocean View Hotel Restaurant & Lounge. "There are things people really want to buy."

Venders at the festival showcased fall and winter clothing, jewelry, dog treats, children's books and more.

Kane said he looks forward to seeing the festival again next year.

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