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December 21, 2014
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Harvest Moon hay bale deadline September 14
(2012-08-29)
(wvmr) -

Bath County's Harvest Moon Festival is Saturday September 22 and one very popular part of the festival is the hay bale decorating contest. Last year's festival had 36 entries. Maggie Anderson is Bath County's Tourism Director.

"We want to encourage everyone to put their creative hat on and think about how to decorate those hay bales," says Anderson. "Now you don't have to do a round bale. I know we did a lot of round bales last year, but a category is round bales, square bales, a variety of bales. But keep in mind one of the winners last year was a single square hay bale. We're asking people to get started with the decorating of the hay bales. You have until September 14th to get your hay bale up and registered with us, in order to be considered for prize money. "

There are three categories for entries: Under 12, Individual and Group. And each will have a first, second and third place winner with cash prizes. The grand prize winner will receive $50. Winners will be announced at 3pm at the Farmer's Market in downtown Hot Springs the day of Harvest Moon. Applications for hay bale decorating can be picked up at the Chamber of Commerce. They can also be downloaded. Go to discoverbath.com and search Harvest Moon Festival.

If you need hay, Anderson has twenty round hay bales available for free. Call her to reserve one. Decoration ideas can be found online. Google hay bale decorating or to see last year's entries on Facebook, go to the County of Bath page and click on photos.

There's also a photo contest underway as part of Harvest Moon. For more information on that, visit discoverbath.com.

The day of Harvest Moon activities will be going on all around Bath County.

"Keeping in line with the harvest theme, we're going to be enjoying a farm tour out at Hidden Valley Bed and Breakfast," says Anderson. "If you want to learn how to grow a pizza garden, or pick your own pumpkin, participate in making homemade cider or apple butter or even real butter and some face painting and a lot of other kid activities, you'll want to join us out at Hidden Valley from noon until 4. There'll also be a farm tour and you'll be able to see a lot of the farm animals that are out there, so that's going to be a lot of fun for families as well."

In downtown Hot Springs there will be an expanded Farmer's Market from 9 to 4. And at the Fire Department, Bath Animal Welfare will be holding a silent auction from 10 until 2.

"In the evening from 6 to 7:30 Relay for Life will be providing a dinner up at Garth Newel," says Anderson. "Proceeds, of course, will go to benefit Relay for Life and I think the tickets are $10. We are encouraging people to buy tickets in advance. Now the best part about this dinner is it precedes a free concert that's being put on by Garth Newel. The concert is a woman named Linda Lay and she is a bluegrass and acoustic country performer and she's amazing."

For advance tickets for the dinner, contact the Chamber of Commerce at 540-839-5409.

"This is beginning to grow now into something we hope will be our own special signature event," says Anderson. "And we hope we can look back on this in fifty years and say You know, remember when it was real small and now it's this amazing county-wide event.'"

For more information about the Harvest Moon Festival or to reserve one of the free hay bales for decorating, contact Maggie Anderson at 540-839-7202.
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