Monday, August 31, 2009

Harvest Festival - Sunday, September 20th

(Rain date Sunday, September 27th)
We are busy finalizing the details for the FDP Harvest Festival.
Please read the important information below:

Business Members interested in participating
Harvest Festival Registrations are due no later than Tuesday, September 1st
Important:  If you are a downtown merchant and would like to have space reserved in front of your business you need to contact Mary Graff by next week or she will be putting crafters in front of your business. All restaurants who plan to participate will need to contact Mary by Tuesday, September 1st and will need to fill out permit paperwork with the town.

We need volunteers for this event.  We expect over 2,500 visitors..  If you can help out before, during or after the event please contact Mary Graff as soon as possible and let her know when you are available.  Please consider helping out this year.

Any questions please contact Mary Graff, Festival Chair, at (508)733-5504 or at

Friday, August 21, 2009

Scenes from Third Thursday - Aug 20

It was a hot day here in Franklin. The thunderstorm that blew through quickly during the afternoon did not do much to cool off the area. As the sun set, the evening's activities were beginning for Third Thursday. Maybe you couldn't make it downtown as you had some yard work to catch up on. Eileen Mason watered and weeded the plants in the island and along the railroad bridge covering for some one who had volunteered but had not yet come out this week to do so. Meanwhile, on the "breezeway" next to Cafe Dolce, the brothers mccann were playing to a growing crowd of admirers. Pat McCann worked the keyboards and waited for brother Mike's cue Mike McCann appreciated Pat waiting for him. Together they had the crowd full of smiles and applause. Cafe Dolce was pleased with the size of the crowd. Other businesses have seen an increase in traffic due to the Third Thursday events. In September, mark the date (Sep 17th) and come on downtown to the happenings in Franklin. Third Thursday is a production of the Franklin Downtown Partnership Merchants Committee. This was originally posted at Franklin Matters

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Harvest Festival preparations

The Downtown Partnership is preparing for the fall Harvest Festival, with organizers looking for sponsors to keep the momentum going as the event has become increasingly popular in recent years.

"This is much, much bigger than the Strawberry Festival - double the size, at least." said Lisa Piana, partnership executive director. "It's an event that people now put on their calendar, and vendors start calling in March and April," to reserve booths, as the partnership tries to avoid having competing vendors, said Piana.

The Harvest Festival, which began seven years ago, was pretty small even four years ago, Piana said. The celebration has grown to be the largest fall event in the area. The festival now features multiple bands, more than 100 vendors, crafters, and nonprofit groups, and usually draws a few thousand people.

The group is seeking sponsors to fund the event, which becomes costlier as it grows, particularly with the extra bands and police details, Piana said.

Benjamin Franklin Charitable Trust, which still exists, despite Rockland Trust buying the bank, is the festival's main sponsor, and Middlesex Savings Bank is another sponsor, Piana said.

"It's because of them coming forward early that we're moving ahead with this event. It's due to the generosity of these two sponsors that we know we'll have an event this year," Piana said.

For the first time, the partnership is inviting local restaurants to sell food at the festival in front of Dean Bank, Berry Insurance and possibly on Summer Street, Festival Chairwoman Mary Graff said.

Also this year, the Franklin Art Association will have "a big presence" with art displays, likely on the grass next to Hang Tai Chinese Cuisine, and organizers hope to set up a dunk tank and bring four bands to perform at the festival.

Festival-goers will also be able to pick up fresh produce at the Farmers Market.

Graff said people should plan on a fun family day.

"There's something for everyone, hopefully. It gives a little art and culture and entertainment on a Sunday afternoon," said Graff.

Said Piana: "It's amazing. It's a lot of hard work, but at the end of the day, it's so rewarding to see so many people come out."

Vendors wishing to have a booth at the Harvest Festival should contact Graff by Aug. 20 to reserve a spot ($50). The fee increases to $75 after that.

Booths are free for partnership members.

The Harvest Festival will be held Sunday, Sept. 20, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the rain date is Sunday, Sept. 27.

For more information or to reserve a booth, contact Graff at 508-733-5504 or