This year’s Harvest Days may look different than any in recent memory as it is trimmed down and under the direction of new leadership.
Despite the elimination of some popular events from the past, the Friday night cruise and the Saturday morning parade are still happening, along with a number of new attractions.
The event’s new organizers see 2019 as a rebuilding year, with a focus on making Harvest Days back into what locals remember it as.
“Our vision is to bring it back to the glory days,” said Kendra Laratta, owner of Ink Ability and member of the newly-formed Battle Ground Festival Association.
The Battle Ground Festival Association was formed after the Battle Ground Chamber of Commerce, who ran Harvest Days for decades, folded into the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce in October.
The City of Battle Ground first stepped in to fill the void, but according to city council member Shane Bowman, who is now a member of the Battle Ground Festival Association, they soon realized that for insurance purposes, among other things, it made more sense to form a nonprofit.
Bowman noted that in the past the event largely served as a fundraiser for the chamber, but under the new group’s watch, all the money would go back into Harvest Days.
Despite a few popular events being cut this year, the association plans to bring the festival back to its “glory days” and hopes to bring the missing events back in the coming years.
“We came into this late,” Bowman said in June, explaining that work didn’t really begin until the start of this year, making planning harder due to the constricted timeline.
“We know it’s going to be a building year for us, but we’re really looking forward to seeing what we can do this year and how we can build on that for next year,” Laratta said.
For the future of Harvest Days, the festival association is aiming for more community involvement and engagement in the festival.
“Our hope is to have something for every age group,” Laratta said. “We want everyone to be able to come and participate and not just have on group represented. The goal is to involve the whole community, we have a lot of different types of people (in the area).”
What’s been cut (at least for now)
In its rebuilding year, a few Harvest Days staples weren’t able to be squeezed in. But, according to Laratta, that doesn’t mean the events are gone forever.
The burnout pit at Urban Basics and the beer garden at Chevron that usually coincides with the cruise are absent this year.
“There just wasn’t enough time to logistically feel that we could safely put that together,” Laratta said about the burnout pit. As for the beer garden, although Chevron may not have a beer garden, she said many surrounding businesses plan to host their own with music.
Out as well this year is the Rocksolid Community Teen Center Dodgeball Tournament, which started last year. The tournament was canceled in mid-June when there was still much ambiguity surrounding the event. Event organizers are planning to start the tournament back up next year, though, with Executive Director Marcy Sprecher telling last year’s team captains in an email to “be ready to dodge balls at Battle Ground High School” in 2020.
Sunday Runday, an event held on Sunday last year isn’t slated to make a comeback for 2019.
Friday, July 19
Rev your engines for “Cruzzin’ BG”
Although the committee is in its freshman year of planning the festival, many favorite events are here to stay, starting with the Friday night cruise, now named “Cruzzin’ BG.”
The cruise will start at 6:30 p.m., with registration at 2 p.m. Only car models 1978 and older will be accepted and the $20 registration will be entirely day-of registration — no pre-registration will be accepted.
After a last-minute phone Monday morning with event organizers, it seems the Harvest Days Carnival is here to stay. It will again feature fair-style food, games and rides. According to Laratta, the carnival opens Friday evening and will remain in operation until about 6 p.m., Sunday, July 21.
Food carts and vendors open Friday
Starting on Friday, many different food carts and vendors will be lining the festival with shaved ice stands, gyros and booths that support the Battle Ground Drama Club Boosters. The booths will remain throughout Saturday. If you would like to become a vendor, email
Saturday, July 20
Have breakfast with Fire District 3
As for Saturday, the day is booked starting with the annual Fire District 3 pancake breakfast in the parking lot of the old library building and the high school. Laratta said that this year the breakfast is being held on Main Street as opposed to the original location of the fire station for better visibility and hopefully higher attendance to the breakfast. Proceeds from the all-you-can-eat breakfast support the Family and Community Resource Center. A single ticket costs $5 with a family ticket for $20. Once the parade ends, Fire District 3 is hosting and a new Fire Department Agility Course. The course will open from 12 – 4 p.m. on Saturday and feature both an adult and youth fireman agility training course. Along with this, a fire engine will be available to tour.
Harvest Days Parade
Following the pancake breakfast is the epicenter of Harvest Days, the parade. It starts at 10 a.m. Laratta said the festival is going back to its roots by making the Grand Marshals of the parade Battle Ground’s WWII and Korean War veterans.
Show your talent at the Community Stage
Once the parade ends around 12:30 p.m., the Community Stage is hosting a slew of events up until street dance from 6 – 9 p.m. Including two new events from the Battle Ground Drama Booster Club.
Over the years, lip-sync battles have become mainstream. From the show, “Lip Sync Battle” hosted by LL Cool J on Paramount Network to the recurring segment on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, lip-sync battles have made their place in popular culture. A “Lip Sync Battle” features a team of people doing their best to put on a show while mouthing the lyrics to their favorite songs. This year, the Battle Ground Drama Boosters is hosting a contest of their own at the community stage from 4:30 – 6 p.m. Prizes for the contest include a $50 Mill Creek Pub gift card, a one hour massage at Opdahl Chiropractic and a large pizza from Rocky’s Pizza. Any and all can register for $15 dollars per group. Email bgdc
email@example.com to register. According to Holly Smith of the Boosters Club, Judges for the contest are yet to be determined.
The Battle Ground Drama Club Boosters is also hosting a Dad Joke Contest from 1 – 1:45 p.m. for those inclined to tell their best dad jokes. Registration is open to any and all inclined to be “dad for a few minutes.” Contestants can tell as many jokes as they would like but must stay under five minutes to be qualified for prizes which include $100 off at Wake’s Driving School, a three-month membership to Battle Ground Fitness and a large pizza from Rocky’s. Registration is free and starts at 12:45 p.m. at the community stage. According to Smith, the audience is the judge for this contest and votes by putting money in the jar of who they thought won.
Funds from these events go to the Battle Ground Drama Boosters club to help fund their trip to Edinburgh, Scotland for The Festival Fringe next year.
Back by popular demand is the Harvest Days Street Dance from 6 – 9 p.m. on Saturday night. So grab your dancing shoes and boogie down with the community.
Here’s a look at the schedule for Saturday at the Community Stage:
• 12 – 12:20 p.m.: Master Oh’s Taekwondo
• 12:30 – 12:55 p.m.: Malia the Belly Dancer and her students
• 1 – 1:45 p.m.: BG Drama Club Boosters presents: Dad Joke Contest
• 1:55 – 2 p.m.: Battle Ground High School Dancers
• 2:10 – 2:50 p.m.: Studio Dance Company
• 3 – 3:50 p.m.: School of Rock
• 4 – 4:20 p.m.: Zumba
• 4:30 – 6 p.m.: Battle Ground Drama Club Boosters presents: Lip Sync Contest
• 6 – 9 p.m.: Street Dance
Northwood Brewery’s Fifth Annual Pig Roast
Starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, foodies can head over to Northwood Public Brewery for their fifth annual “party and pig roast” where whole hogs are stuffed full of Italian Sausage and seasoned loins before being cooked Mediterranean Style. The event will also feature live music from the Northwest Jazz and Blues singer Ellen Whyte, performing with her trio from 1 – 4 p.m. and The Bylines Quartet and their jazz-inspired pop starts at 6 p.m. Also happening throughout the day are bloom art, giveaways and a kid’s coloring contest. The event goes until 11 p.m., so get your fill all day. Servings of the roast starts at noon and only stops when it’s gone.
Sunday, July 21
Extreme Fun at Battle Ground Skate Park
On Sunday, the festival moves to the Battle Ground Skate Park for The Extreme Tour from 5 – 9 p.m. The Extreme Tour is a free music show featuring new signed and unsigned bands from around the nation. With this, there will be a skate/BMX/scooter competition for those wanting to show their stuff.