Written by Abigail O’Neill
For 22 years, the hallways buzzed with great energy and excitement for the food and festivities. All of the commotion was for one thing: Fall Festival.
In reflection of her past four Fall Festivals, Allison Cuthie shared that she loved the good energy that radiated through the halls on Fall Festival. Allison added that she loves to see the resident talents and to start her Christmas shopping early at the Country Store.
Fall Festival annually united the community and provided residents, team members, family members, and the broader New Holland community with countless opportunities of fun. Despite the great memories that this day created, with the COVID-19 pandemic, Allison Cuthie and the event committee looked for a way to keep the excitement while being safe.
Allison and the committee decided to spread what was once a full day into a busy week of autumn activities. With the pandemic, they knew that some opportunities could not take place and that visitors would not be permitted into the community, but decided to make lemonade with lemons and add some new celebrations.
The week started on a powerful note with 150 residents and staff safely joining together to sing hymns. Everyone sang in unity on the beautiful fall day. Allison shared that this was the first time they could have a gathering in the community for a long time and added, “We just want to be together.”
When asked about the favorites of the event, Allison responded “the food” with a laugh. Previously, with everything happening on one day, you had to pick certain dishes but, the week-long celebration allowed for a taste of everything. From chicken barbeque and pork to the delicious apple dumplings and fried oreos, the food of the Harvest Week and the Fair Fare was a hit!
While the food was always a highlight of the celebration, the week of fun allowed for new festivities to start. With this year’s New Holland Fair cancelled, the committee decided to have an in-house farm show competition. Residents and team members created a plethora of projects to showcase in the exhibit hall.
And the creativity didn’t stop at the exhibit hall as teams from all over the community formed to enter the gift basket competition. This year, the Chocolate Basket from the Gardens East first floor team took the coveted trophy after bringing in $250 in the silent auction.
As you can probably tell, healthy competition is one of the peaks of the celebration and it doesn’t stop at the gift basket competition. Residents and staff worked to make their best apple pie and submitted them for judging on their overall appearance, crust, flavor, filling, and creativity. This year Marie Diehl snatched first place, followed by Alice Cochran in second and Christy Turner in third. The top three placings received a cash prize and the pies were auctioned off.
The proceeds from the gift basket competition, the apple pie contest, and all of profits of the week were donated to the Benevolent Fund.
From food to competition, the week was full of fun and brought the joy of Fall Festival back to Garden Spot Village.