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Harvest Festival celebrates community, pie

ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: EMILY LINDSTRAND - They arent eating pie now, but they will be soon. Estacada High School students Conner McNulty, Gabriel Martinez and Cole Chandler are three of the participants in the pie eating contest at the Harvest Festival on Saturday, Oct. 29.

Pumpkins, friendship and pies are the ingredients for a perfect autumn afternoon, and they will soon come to town.

The Estacada Development Association will organize a Harvest Festival to encourage community members to gather downtown and get into the fall spirit. The festival will take place from 3-8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29 at the Harvest Market Square.

Sponsors of the event include Harvest Market and the Eagle Fern Veterinary Hospital.

“We want to bring the community into town to have fun,” said Mary Ann Swanson, a member of the event’s planning committee.

The festival will feature live music, food booths, pumpkin painting, an animal costume contest, a beer garden and a pie eating contest.

“There’s going to be something for everyone,” Swanson said.

The activities, such as pumpkin painting and the animal costume contest, are free to participate in. There will be a charge for beverages in the beer garden, and food booth vendors will include Lew’s Drive-In, the River Mill parent-teacher organization and the high school dance team.

Some food, such as the pie for those who participate in the pie eating contest, will be free.

Three of the contest’s participants are Estacada High School students Conner McNulty, Gabriel Martinez and Cole Chandler.

The trio is confident in their ability to do well in the competition.

“I’ve already had practice,” said McNulty, referring to a lunchtime game during the high school’s homecoming week. Participants from each grade were challenged be the first to eat a tray of whipped cream and then blow bubbles from the sticks of gum that were underneath the cream, and McNulty won.

The three have differing strategies for how to go into the event.

Chandler said he would have an empty stomach, but Martinez, on the other hand, plans to eat before the competition.

“I’m going to have a burger and milkshake before,” he said. “Then I’m just going to wing it.”

For those interested in joining the trio and putting their pie eating abilities to the test, sign ups will be available at the event. Those who wish to join can put their name in a fishbowl, and event organizers will draw multiple names to participate in the contest.

The competition is still anyone’s game.

“We’ll see what happens,” Martinez said.