WOOF! Hazelwood Harvestfest goes to the dogs…

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On the schedule for this year's Hazelwood Harvestfest: four amazing canine agility shows from the national touring Purina Incredible Dog Team

In 2010, the city of Hazelwood’s annual Harvestfest went green, celebrating the joys of our beautiful planet Earth. I happened to think that was pretty cool, and I was really looking forward to hearing what this year’s theme might be. Imagine my delight then, after just finishing a six-week agility class with my mutt/superstar, Butchy, to learn that the 2011 theme is DOGS! Or should I say… “Tribute to Man’s Best Friend.”

That’s right, Hazelwood is going “paw up” on September 10, hosting a full day of family activities that honor the loyal animals who often love us more than we love ourselves. The highlight of the festival, which takes place at Howdershell Park, is a visit from the Purina Incredible Dog Team, a phenomenal group of 30 shelter-rescue dogs and eight trainers who perform all over the country.

I’ve seen these guys in action – they are awesome! You’ll have four chances to watch them at Harvestfest: 11:30am, 1pm, 3pm and 5pm on September 10.

And here’s what else you can see and do at the festival, courtesy of Hazelwood’s Tim Davidson…

Harvestfest Parade
As in years past, Hazelwood’s 2011 Harvestfest will begin with a lively parade that begins at Hazelwood City Hall, 415 Elm Grove Lane, at 9 a.m. The best viewing areas for the parade can be found along Town and Country, Holiday, Imperial and Village Square Drives.

Groups and organizations are invited to participate in the parade by decorating floats and automobiles that represent this year’s event theme. In fact, designers of the preschoolers’ float have made plans to throw dog collar bracelets to the crowds of spectators along the street. Five cash prizes will be awarded to the best decorated/themed parade unit.

Music will be performed by the John Ford Highland Pipe Band and the Hazelwood West High School “Marching Wildcats.” After the parade ends, the bagpipers will roam around the park and play mini-concerts for the fair goers.

Miss Hazelwood Coronation
At 10:30 a.m., the reigning 2010 Miss Hazelwood, Nikki Napolitano, will host this year’s coronation ceremony on the stage of the St. Louis County Bandwagon located by the Howdershell Park tennis courts. To qualify as a participant, contestants must be young women between the ages of 15 and 19, as well as residents of Hazelwood. A $500 scholarship and other prizes will be awarded to the new queen.

Children’s Activities
The Children’s Activity Area will feature an inflatable obstacle course, a giant dual slide, and a Jurassic Zoo Play area for younger kids. An arts and crafts section will be set up inside the tennis courts where youngsters can get a stuffed, white autograph dog. They can color it with markers or use decorations.

For the early birds, a Petting Zoo will be available for the children’s entertainment between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Free pony rides will be offered to kids from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. In addition, the Home Run Derby for kids age 7-12 begins at 11 a.m.

Another attraction added this year helps to promote and conserve the tradition of hunting. The St. Louis Gateway Arch Chapter of Safari Club International is bringing its 28-foot trailer that showcases 50 mounts of wild animals for people to see up close and touch.  Kids can even have their picture taken standing next to a stuffed grizzly bear.

Horseshoe Tournaments 
Two tournaments will be held at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the horseshoe pits at the park. The format will involve random draw partnering. Registration for both events will begin a half-hour early.  Admission is free and open to people of all ages.  Trophies will be awarded to the top finishers.

Bingo Sessions
The Hazelnuts will carry on the tradition of sponsoring two Bingo sessions at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. underneath the new park pavilion. Anyone can play. Gift cards, small household items and snacks will be given away as prizes.

Musical Entertainment
The headline band for this year is NONSTOP ROCK, which delivers a 9-piece Classic Rock experience performed by some of St. Louis’ best musicians. According to La•De•Da Entertainment, NONSTOP is the Top Shelf Classic Rock Band in St. Louis. This group will perform from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the stage of the St. Louis County Bandwagon. NONSTOP features the music of Chicago, Blood Sweat & Tears, Blues Brothers, Bruce Springsteen and Aretha Franklin. It also plays the popular hits of Motown, R&B, Southern Rock, Funk, Blues, and Jazz which elevates their “live” performance to a whole new level of entertainment.


Used Book Sale
At Harvestfest, the Hazelwood Community Enrichment Commission plans to host its annual Used Book Sale under a big tent. Fair goers can browse through hundreds of donated books in good condition and purchase them at a discount price. All proceeds will be used to purchase newspaper and magazine subscriptions for both recreation centers, to support the Commission’s “Reading is Elementary Program” and to provide resources for the Garden Club.

Arts & Crafts Show / Information Booths
An Arts and Crafts Show will be ongoing on the north side of the park. Also, an area will be set up for local companies to promote their products and services, as well as for charity groups to raise money with game or food booths. To reserve a booth space for any of these activities, call the Parks and Recreation Office at (314) 731-0980.

City Services Tent
Since they were so popular last year, the Parks and Recreation staff will be giving away grocery bags with Hazelwood’s “H” logo printed on them.  Other items such as Frisbees, plastic bags used for pooper scoopers, and dog biscuits will be distributed as well. The City Services tent will also be the collection site for retired American flags. Residents with faded or tattered flags can bring them to the tent throughout the day. The collected flags will be given to the VFW for a proper disposal ceremony.

Hazelwood Harvestfest will take place Saturday, September 10, 9am-6pm at Howdershell Park, 6800 Howdershell Road, 63042. Admission is free.


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