Garage Party: Harvest Festival

Garage Party: Harvest Festival

The leaves have changed color and dropped from trees and soon, Thanksgiving season will arrive. This is harvest season here in Willamette Valley and our region is certainly known for its bounty of beautiful fruits and vegetables. Why not celebrate the harvest season with a block party?

We love a good garage party at Red Umbrella Services, so we love to share party ideas. Last month we wrote about a Halloween garage party, and, in August, our solar eclipse party. Garages can be great spaces to entertain plus gather.

To throw a harvest-themed party in your garage this November, celebrate the bounty of the season and produce grown by your friends and neighbors. Not sure what’s in season? Just check with local farmers markets.

Eugene’s Farmer’s Markets

Weather

Weather is always a factor. Consult the Farmer’s Almanac for best weekend options, but have a Plan B. Maybe a neighbor has a rec room – or a bigger garage than yours?

Neighbors

Invite everyone – yes EVERYONE in the neighborhood. It’s a great time to reach out to those you don’t know, who may be new in the neighborhood or even that you don’t love.

Activities

If this is an all-ages party, solicit older kids to take charge of the kid activities. Start with the regular neighborhood babysitters. Decide on a game for kids plus for adults (three legged race, a mini pumpkin hunt, bocce or croquet).

Décor and Lighting

Mason jar candles, hay bales, pumpkins, squashes or corn centerpieces. Harvest parties offer warm earthy colors which go perfectly with the season.

Create social zones. Mix of hay bales, Adirondack chairs, short benches for groups of 3-5.

If you’re planning a bonfire, be sure to have fire extinguishers nearby. You can review Lane County’s fire tips page.

Food

Connect with the gastronomists or growers of the neighborhood to plan the food. Soups or chilies are great fall meal items, or offer a baked potato bar. Walk the neighborhood with a notepad to find out what everyone would like to bring to the party. Reach out to neighbors to buddy up for shared dishes.

For dessert, indulge in the best of the autumn treats with caramel apples or goodies made out of pumpkin. A warm cider crock pot is also a great way to get things started!

Entertainment

You can get a live band, or ask that neighbor with really cool music tastes to DJ. You could also have the neighbor kids act out a scene from a spooky (but fun) Halloween film like “Hocus Pocus”. Be sure to get any permits required by your city for live music.

The Aftermath

Whatever is left over from the harvest, have paper bags ready to go and neighbors can take those items home with them.

After the party, reach out to your neighbors. Thank them for attending and for bringing their harvest vegetables. Get the ball rolling for the next block party. How about a spring ground-breaking, where everyone helps to begin the next season’s crops?

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