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Posted: 10/10/12

Fifth Harvest Day begins
fall with country flair

Observer Staff Writer

      The 5th Romeo Harvest Day aims to summon the charm of a rural fall to downtown Romeo in the name of aiding non-profits.
       The event, organized by the Romeo Merchants, Restaurants and Professionals Association (MRP), will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13.
       Since 2007, the MRP has organized a day of events meant to raise funds for charitable organizations while providing free to low-cost activities for the family.
       "We make it a customer appreciation day," said Carol Humphreys, event coordinator. "There are a lot of new things and the same things going on this year."
       The newest addition to the rural festivities is a country hoedown, running from 4-8 p.m. at the Romeo Lions Field. The first two hours will invite guests to give country dancing a go with square dance caller Walt Zotorski. Following Zotorski will be a performance by country singer Austin Scott.
       "You can walk around downtown with the kids during the day and now have a little treat of country music and square dancing in the evening," Humphreys said.
       Tickets are $5 per adult and free admission for kids. Proceeds from the hoedown will benefit All the World's a Stage, a local non-profit theater group.
       The event is also bringing back a chili cook-off competition. The Greater Romeo-Washington Chamber of Commerce is coordinating the contest, which asks participants to submit a Crock-Pot of their chili to be judged by the public.
       The winner of the contest, which will be decided by a ballot, will receive a $100 Visa gift card and a traveling trophy. The public can get in on the tasting at $5 a person from noon to 3 p.m.
       Kelley Stephens, chamber executive director, said beers will be on hand as well to pair with the chili.
       "We're looking forward to getting some participation, and it's just a fun event for the chamber," Stephens said.
       Chili cooks can enter by calling (586) 752-4436. Entries are $20 each, with proceeds going toward chamber operations.
       If chili isn't enough to fill the stomachs of attendees, a number of local restaurants and businesses will sell food items for $1 each, including apple fritters, pizza, hot dogs and tempura Twinkies.
       Other treats, like donuts, cider, apples and s'mores will be offered for free around downtown while supplies last.
       The other major fundraising effort is the bike and skateboard raffle at 5 p.m. at Lions' Field. For $1 a ticket, entrants can win one of eight new bikes or four skateboards. Proceeds from the raffle will benefit the Romeo Homeless Children's Fund.
       "It's precious to give a kid a new bike after they paid a dollar for it," Humphreys said.
       Humphreys said around 15 different non-profits will be represented during Harvest Days.
       "We have a bunch of charities coming together to try to give back to the community," she said. "Some non-profits benefit by exposure, some benefit by the receiving of money."
       Among those is a rummage sale for the 175th anniversary committee, which is raising money to host a number of events for Romeo's 175th birthday in 2013. The event, titled "Junk in the Trunk," encourages sellers to rent a parking space, park their vehicles full of wares and sell their items.
       Spaces are $20 each or $30 for two. Call (586) 752-1170 for information.
       Going with the country theme, a free batch of events tests the eating skills with pie-eating, seed spitting and donut-on-a-string at the Lions' Field.
       Other free attractions returning this year include pumpkin painting and carving, scarecrow making, children's games, balloon animals, trolley rides and face-painting.
       Sponsors of the event include the chamber, the Romeo Downtown Development Authority, Romeo Historical Society, Romeo Lions Club, Romeo Area Kiwanis and the Boy Scouts.
       Call (586) 752-2682 or visit for more information.

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Retrieved 8/4/2015 at 7:43:06 AM.
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