BY TIM & DEB SMITH
If you’re looking for some festive family fun opportunities this summer, we’ve got great news for you. You’ll be able to find that kind of action right here in Honeoye Falls on Saturday, August 19th at the annual “Festival-at-the-Falls” sponsored by Howard Hanna Real Estate which will be taking place at Harry Allen Park on North Main Street.
This will be the third year of this particular festival in HF and the event is continuing to grow. Our mission in this article is to fill you in on what will be happening at this year’s event, and also take a trip down memory lane to share some history regarding summer festivals in the Village of Honeoye Falls over the years. As a teaser, to test some flashes from the past, how much of the following timeline do you remember? We had…
- 1970-1983 – Art-in-the-Park
- 1984-1995 – Village Days
- 1996-2018 – Festival-on-the-Green
- 2021-2023 – Festival-at-the-Falls
Before we delve into the past events, we’ll fill you in on what will be happening the weekend of August 19th. Coming out of the Covid conundrum, the Mendon-Honeoye Falls Howard Hanna Office shared a joint desire to create an event that would bring the community together. “Many of us here at the office had many fond memories of the Festival on the Green,” said administrative assistant Heidi Zornow. “I myself enjoyed bringing my kids several years in a row when they were little, but due to lack of committee members, I think that Festival just disappeared.”
The first festival, in the fall of 2021, occurred as the community was slowly emerging from the Covid restriction, so the decision was made to do something outdoors for safety reasons. With limited time for planning that event, which was held on September 21st, it drew about 20 vendors and, despite the short notice, was well received, so the Howard Hanna committee was encouraged to push forward and grow the event for 2022.
In the planning phase, the first decision was to move the date from September to August for weather purposes. Cross referencing other summer events in the area, “Lima Crossroads Festival” is the first weekend in August and the “Avon Corn Festival” is on the second weekend, so they locked in on August weekend 3, to become their annual date. The August 20th, 2022 “Festival-at-the-Falls” featured fifty vendors, two bands and food served by the Masons of Union Star Lodge #320.
“We are looking to grow the festival even more for 2023,” Heidi said. “We are hoping to have more free kids activities (bounce house, selfie station, tents and tables for sitting/eating etc.) and we are currently reaching out to local business for sponsors to help with costs. We are also hoping to get up to 75 vendors this year.”
“Howard Hanna is dedicated to giving back to the community and that is how the Children’s Free Care Fund came to be. The Fund ensures that children who need life-saving medical care can receive it. The HHCFCF is affiliated with Golisano Children’s Hospital, which we know has helped many children within our community. Our office donates 100% of the proceeds from the Booth Vendor Fees to the Children’s Free Care Fund.”
As of now, they have filled 78 spaces with 75 vendors (some vendors require more than one space). Heidi added that there will be, “many local artisans and businesses that include jewelry, photography, ceramics, woodworking, signs, Mary Kay, Tastefully Simple, painters, FLX Popcorn, Vanilla Lane and so much more. The Masons will be serving food again and the Girl Scouts have once again partnered with Dipper Dan’s and will be selling ice cream. Honeoye Falls Boy Scout Troop 10 is celebrating their 110th Anniversary and they will have a booth and some of the scouts will be volunteering their time helping to [keep things clean] during the festival.”
So there’s our preview for what you can look forward to at the Festival-At-The-Falls coming on Saturday, August 19th in Honeoye Falls’ Harry Allen Park.
Next turn to page four where we’ll allow the Ghost Spirit of Summers Past to take us on a sweet summer sojourn through the past 53 years of Honeoye Falls festivities.