GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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October 10, 2012

Rockport poised to hail harvest

ROCKPORT — Residents and visitors alike are gearing up to celebrate and play at a HarvestFest saluting all things Rockport Saturday, including the added fun of a sweet and silly new game, heightened competition in the scarecrow making contest, and a juggling team frolicking around town.

HarvestFest organizer Sarah Kelly expects a turnout even larger than last year’s event, which drew an estimated 3,000 to 5,000, she said. Kelly hopes the clear weather and new activities will draw in visitors and residents to downtown Rockport for the festivities that begin at 10 a.m. and run until 6 p.m.

”We’ve added some traditional festival entertainment,” Kelly said. “People can kind of enjoy the town in a different way.”

The Rockport Parent Teacher Organization will host a “Cake Walk” game in Harvey Park between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the HarvestFest.

Participants in the game, walk to music — in musical chairs fashion — around a circle of number cards on the ground, then grab a number card when the music stops. A host draws a number from a hat, and the person holding that number card gets to pick a cake to take home.

PTO Board Leader Diane Ambrose said 25 people have already volunteered to bake one or two cakes for prizes, and the PTO will collect cakes from anyone wishing to donate more that morning. One cake is valued at $75, but whether you win the pricey prize, a pile of whoopie pies, a smattering of cupcakes, or nothing at all, every participant will go home with a treat, number drawn or not.

”No one’s left out, and everybody who doesn’t win a cake will get to come home with a cookie or a cupcake or something,” Ambrose said.

Of course, participants donate money, a suggested $1 or $2 donation, to walk the cake walk, and those donations help fund the PTO. Ambrose said though this is Rockport HarvestFest’s first cake walk, it’s proven a popular way to raise money or good causes in other states.

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