Harvest MOOOn

June 19th, 2015 9:28 am

First Posted: 9/17/2014

Cow manure.

There may be nothing pretty about it, but it will be a main attraction at this year’s Hillside Harvest Moon Fest, set for noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 28 at Hillside Park on Winola Road, South Abington Township.

The third annual event, presented by the Abington Area Joint Recreation Board and the Greater Scranton YMCA, will feature plenty of family activities, including fall-themed arts and crafts, canoe rentals, a bounce house, face painting, live music, live children’s characters, various vendors and yes — a cow flop.

Similar to a round of bingo or a 50/50 raffle, a cow flop is a fundraiser and game of chance. Participants purchase squares on a field, where a cow is set loose to, well, do what a cow does. The owner or owners of the square or squares to receive a cow pie first become the winner or winners.

According to AAJRB volunteer Diane Vietz, the cow flop is simply a fun way to raise money for park improvement projects.

The festival as a whole, she said, is “an opportunity to get outside and reap the benefits of our great community and the quintessential autumn setting at Hillside Park.”

Marie King, also an AAJRB volunteer, agrees.

“I read a study recently,” she said, “that said to ward off unhappiness or depression, you need to spend at least 30 minutes in the sun each day. Encouraging people to get outside and exercise can be beneficial to the whole community.”

And the AAJRB and YMCA did just that all summer long.

With the board’s summer concert series, the YMCA’s Boating Basics Classes and Y Wellness Mondays, as well as other events and summer activities held there, the park’s lake, nature trails, pavilion, ball fields and dog park were a constant buzz of activity throughout the season.

Meghan Davis, YMCA marketing director, said the partnership between the two organizations grew to be so strong over the summer that when asked to help out with the fall festival, the YMCA was more than happy to oblige.

“It’s a really great way for our Y to share our mission again with residents of the Abington community,” she said. “And the event is just a really fun thing to be a part of. It’s a great way for families to get outside and spend quality time together. The event itself is just going to be a lot of fun, so we’re really excited to be a part of it.”

The festival is free to attend, and various vendors will offer food, pumpkins, mums, maple syrup, children’s books, wood carvings and more for sale. Live music will be provided in the pavilion by Bill Frye, Sassafras and Paul LaQuintano. Children’s characters will roam the grounds, including Elmo, Champ and Mr. and Mrs. Scarecrow.