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On the Bright Side

September 28, 2013

Pair of dinners set to celebrate harvest

Cooperstown residents will have two chances to celebrate the harvest season Sunday.

The Ecumenical Harvest Festival Service will be held 3 p.m. at Christ Episcopal Church at 46 River Street. The annual event had always been around Thanksgiving, the Rev. Mark Michael said. Acting on the the suggestion of Bassett chaplain the Rev. Betsy Jay, it was decided to move it to September when the harvest actually occurs, preceding the separately run second annual Community Harvest Supper.

That event is sponsored by the Growing Community, a local sustainable-living support group, and is held on Main Street from Fair to River streets from 4 to 7 p.m. One of the dinner coordinators, Kristen Griger, said: “It’s nice they are having their prayer service beforehand to share in the celebration of the harvest season.”

The ecumenical service will have representatives from all Cooperstown churches participating, Michael said. The participation seemed to decline over the years, but this seemed like a natural fit that could turn that around, he said, because the time of year is more appropriate than in late November. The first dinner was a such a “beautiful event,” he said.

“It was a powerful symbol of reconciliation and unity to share in a meal of such a large scale,” in which several hundred people of all ages participated, he said. “It was wonderful.”

Griger said Growing Community encourages people to grow food, buy local and share their knowledge of sustainable living. The supper was a natural outgrowth of that mission because it is a celebration of the local harvest. Participants should bring a dish to pass, if possible with local or home-grown ingredients, as well as place settings and drinks for the family and a harvest supper recipe to share. Everyone is welcome and no reservations are needed.

Last year there were about 300 people, Griger said. With the word out, “I’m assuming it will be bigger, which will be fantastic,” she said.

It is a chance for neighbors to meet neighbors and new relationships to form, she said, and with the cooperation of the village, Main Street will be closed so community dining tables will line the street. The Stoddard Hollow String Band will provide music.

The Cooperstown Fire Department has offered its hall on Chestnut Street in case of rain, but so far, “the weather looks perfect,” Griger said.

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