By Michelle Vineyard, Special to the NavCo Chronicle
The Kerens Cotton Harvest Festival is coming up soon, on Saturday, October 21, 2023. The festival hearkens back to days past, when the primary source of income for the region was cotton. The fall signified the end of months long worry and stress around the production and harvesting of the season’s cotton crop. People in the town had money jingling in their pockets after their long, hot work week, and Saturday was known as the day to come into town to socialize and live it up a bit. Of course in these days, everything is mechanical and most people do not have to toil away for hours among a cotton field, however the Kerens Cotton Harvest Festival works to relive those days, opening the historic red brick streets to everyone, inviting them to come out and have a good time.
There will be plenty of food, fun, music and activities that the whole family can enjoy. The festival opens at 7AM, with a pancake breakfast at the KESA building downtown. At 10 am, there will be a flyover by the Coyote Squadron. There will be vendors lining the street selling various arts, crafts, free childrens games and plenty of delicious food galore. There will also be a quilt show, photo contest, and chili cook off. From 8-11 pm is a street dance, featuring Ira Bradford & Bustin’ Loose, promising a foot-stomping good time. For any history buffs, or anyone with a curious mind to learn more about cotton production, there will be informative gin tours of the Powell cotton gin from 11-2 PM.
The quilt raffle for this year’s handmade quilt is especially beautiful, featuring a beautiful landscape inspired by Texas Hill Country. The artful quilt is made by renowned, talented Kerens local quilters- Nancy Heath and Chrystal Canty. The raffle tickets for this quilt are $5 each, or 5 for $20, and you can purchase at the festival or the Kerens Library.
New to the festival this year is the Texas Farm Bureau’s Mobile Farm, an interactive experience for children to learn about the origins of everyday items on the shelves of their local grocery store. Flying for the Earth will also be present, located in the library with a Eurasian Eagle Owl, where pictures can be taken with the owl for a fee. Flying for the Earth is a 501c 3 organization dedicated to providing conservation education, and the rehabilitation of birds for educational purposes. For more information, you can visit http://www.kerenscottonharvestfestival.com.