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Harvest Festival planned Oct. 5

| September 22, 2006 12:00 AM

By GWEN ALBERS Western News Reporter

Kootenai Country Farmers' Market will close the season with its annual Harvest Festival on Thursday, Oct. 5.

In addition to the traditional scarecrow contest for adults, children, families and businesses, organizers this year also will host a veggie oddity competition.

"Sometimes you get that funky little squash that grows kind of weird. We would like to see those," said Debi Davidson, a farmers' market board member. "We will be looking for winter squash, summer squash and the oddity."

There is no cost or pre-registration for any of the contests. Participants can enter during the festival, which will run from 4 to 7 p.m. in the bandshell park next to the old Libby High School on Mineral Avenue.

The winner with the biggest winter and summer squash will receive $10. The scarecrow contest winner will get $20.

The festival also will include about 15 vendors with fruits and vegetables, apple stamping, leaf decorating, face painting, tile painting, music, and Halloween and children's games.

"We also will have our famous harvest stew," Davidson said. "You have to guess the ingredients."

The farmers' market board annually makes the stew, which includes 17 ingredients. The person who guesses the most ingredients correctly wins a second bowl of stew.

The stew will be served with foccacia bread - a flat Italian bread typically seasoned with herbs and olive oil - homemade carrot cake and beverage for $4.

For information or to set up a booth at the Harvest Festival, call Davidson at 293-8406. Setup cost is $10.

The 2006 market season opened June 1 with its weekly sales. Vendors offer a variety of items, including bedding plants, flowers, fresh fruits and vegetables, jams, jellies, baked goods, original artwork and homemade crafts.

The fee to participate in the Farmers' Market throughout the 16-week season is $50; for a month, $20; and for one week, $10.