Noe Valley Voice October 2010

Our crystal ball tells us that some of these same creatures may return to 24th Street this year, for the Harvest Festival and for the best Halloween in the city.   2009 photo by Pamela Gerard 

Time to Make Hay: Harvest Fest Rolls in Oct. 23

By Pat Rose

Dust off those Halloween costumes and grab your dancing shoes for the sixth annual Noe Valley Harvest Festival on Saturday, Oct. 23. This year’s family-friendly festival, which takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on 24th Street between Church and Sanchez, will feature old favorites like the hayride and pumpkin patch, more than 65 booths filled with arts and crafts, and non-stop musical entertainment.

Harvest Festival chairperson Richard Hildreth promises fair-goers an expanded musical lineup with something for everyone.

“It’s undeniably the Harvest Festival,” says Hildreth. “There’s the hayride, the costume contests for kids and pets, the bouncy houses, but the entertainment’s a bit, well, funkier would be a good word for it. Every act is producing original music in a variety of styles, and they’re all (save one) based right here in San Francisco proper.”

Among the 12 music acts are alt-rock trio True Margrit, the all-girl pop quartet the She’s, orchestral indie-rock ensemble Family Crest, folk-blues vocalist Lily Holbrook, and 10-year-old singing sensation Kif. Performances will take place on two stages: a main stage at Church and 24th streets, and a second stage inside the Noe Valley Farmers Market between Vicksburg and Sanchez.

This year’s pumpkin patch, located in the mini-park across from Martha’s Coffee, will boast more than 500 pumpkins ready for decorating. The pumpkin patch will open at 10 a.m. and stay open throughout the festival, and is free to all.

Dogs and kids in Halloween costumes are invited to strut their stuff at the annual costume contest beginning at 1 p.m. at the Church Street stage. Contestants can register at the volunteer/info booth next to the stage.

Circus Finelli will add to the fun this year with stilt walkers and jugglers. Two jumpy houses, a balloon artist, and a face painter will also be on hand to entertain the kids. And the Noe Valley Merchants and Professionals Association will once again sponsor the annual hayride. Passengers can line up on Castro Street in front of Walgreen’s between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to catch a ride on the horse-pulled wagon.

For festival goers in need of nosh, food and drink will be available at local shops and restaurants, and at food stalls in the Noe Valley Farmers Market.

The event is presented by the Noe Valley Association and supported by volunteers from several neighborhood groups. Donors also include Hill & Co. Real Estate, Noe Valley Farmers Market, Sterling Bank & Trust, Zephyr Real Estate, Sports Basement, Droubi Team/Coldwell Banker, Pasta Pomodoro, Patxi’s Chicago Pizza, Whole Foods, Eye Level Optometry, the Animal Company, and the Little Chihuahua.

Volunteers to work at this year’s fair are still needed. If you are interested in helping out, please contact Anastasia Conrad at or Sharon Cassidy at