POOLE HARVEST DAZE
It is the weekend after Labor Day and the small rural community of Poole, Kentucky is bustling with people of all ages. Many of them sit on bales of straw or folding yard chairs arranged in rows before a flatbed trailer used as a makeshift stage. Others stand on the fringes of the crowd or circulate among the food, game and fund-raising booths. They are either observing or participating in a variety of activities all of which take place in an area no larger than one-third size of a city block. It looks a great deal like other community festivals but Poole Harvest Daze has a uniquely benevolent purpose underlying its creation.
In the summer of 1988, approximately eight persons met at the restaurant in Poole to discuss ways to establish a community fund which could be available to persons who experience emergency situations such as burned-out homes, long- term illnesses or debilitating accidents. The small group quickly expanded in number as others learned about its purpose.
The first festival was held Friday, September 9 and Saturday, September 10, 1988. All activities were held on "borrowed" ground and with borrowed equipment which individual property owners, businesses, and community groups graciously made available. The fledgling Harvest Daze Community didn't own so much as a table or chair with which to conduct its food sales. The first Poole Harvest Daze included the follwing schedule of events: flea market, arts and crafts sales, cake walk, gospel music concert, horseshoe and washer pitching, baby contests, speeches by visiting dignitaries, parade, male beauty contest, country-western dance exhibition, entertainment by local talent, and a country-western band concert.
Since that first event in 1988, Poole Harvest Daze has continued to refine and expand its festival activities. The Committee meets at least once a month year round: all meetings are open to any interested person and no dues or fees are necessary for membership. The only requirement is that members be willing to help with the Harvest Daze activities.
The yearlong planning and putting the ideas into operation is a big undertaking but as long as there is evidence of continuing community, as long as there is evidence of benefit to families in need, as long as residents of the community continue to help with the festive operation, the commitment of The Poole Harvest Daze Committee remains.
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