Village Green Committee
Harvest Festival Committee
In 1985, looking at a neglected Common and a sparse town budget, a handful of concerned citizens banded together with the mission of maintaining and beautifying Temple’s green areas. Fertilizing the grass and pruning some of the trees were two of their top priorities.
As the newly formed Village Green Committee (originally called “Common Cause”) brainstormed for ways to raise funds, an idea arose to hold a fall festival featuring an old-time harvest theme. Surplus produce from Temple gardens could be donated for sale, contests of chance and skill could be held, and craftspeople could rent space to sell their wares. Town organizations were invited to participate at no charge and raise monies in a way that would fit the spirit of the festival, with a portion of their proceeds to go back into the Village Green fund.
The first Harvest Festival, held that year, had a Colonial theme, with many people dressing in period costumes. From the beginning, a key goal of the festival was to provide inexpensive amusement as well as enjoyment for the whole community. A large Family Fun Area was established, with games, puzzles, and crafts for all ages, free of charge, and no fees have ever been required for parking or admission.
The Harvest Festival has grown and developed over the years, and today includes myriad activities, from an opening pancake breakfast to a grand finale band concert , with a chicken barbecue at noontime, and other scrumptious food offered all day long. A Harvest Table offers homemade jams and jellies, relishes, herbs, and dried cut flowers in addition to fresh produce. Contests include a hay-bale toss and a “Veggies of Note” competition. Up to 20 craftspeople exhibit and sell pottery, handcrafts, toys, and foodstuffs, with raffles and door prizes and a book sale adding to the mix.
Everyone in town pitches in to make this autumn celebration/fundraiser more successful each year. The Village Green Committee uses the income to work with the town government and with other organizations on specific maintenance and beautification projects in Temple. Any group wishing to pursue a project may request financial and/or labor assistance from the committee. In addition to underwriting and performing landscaping at the municipal building/fire house, the Common, the library, and other locations, the committee has installed electricity and repaired fence railings on the Common and has built combination table-benches for public use. Every year, members of the committee maintain window boxes in front of the church and town hall; water plants throughout Temple’s green areas; maintain the bird sanctuary; provide evergreen wreaths and roping for the town at Christmastime---and other projects continually crop up.
The Village Green Committee meets in the spring and in the fall to assess the needs of the town and to oversee the annual Harvest Festival, organized by the Harvest Festival Committee. Members of the Village Green Committee include the core Harvest Festival group plus representatives from every participating town organization.