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Harvest Fest draws crowds

RONAN – The antique tractor puttered softly as it made a loop around a golden tree illuminated by slanting morning rays. A boy pulled in the barrel cars behind smiled and laughed as his gaze shifted from a balloon animal clutched in his left hand to a falling crisp leaf that he tried to snatch in his right.

The fun at the weekend’s Ronan Harvest Fest was old-fashioned and simple, but it brought droves of people who traveled from in and out of county to peruse the charm of a country town done with putting away crops and ready to fall under winter’s snowy blanket of sleep. 

Kanela Tadel, 12, of Missoula posed for a photograph as she walked through the vendors’ booths, where everything from gemstone jewelry to bell peppers and loaves of artisan breads were up for sale. 

Other youngsters strayed toward the hay bales that were decorated and strewn about town around local business. Tyler Buhr, 2, climbed the school bus bale made by Community Bank and sat atop it triumphantly for a while, as he grinned down at his mom. 

Nearby a family “chose their adventure” through the Ronan Library bale, which offered Egypt and other places people could travel to via their imaginations and books. 

Library assistant Deanna King said it took a few hours of planning and building to make the bale, but that it was worth seeing people enjoying it. 

“It’s my first Harvest Fest,” King said. “It’s been great.” 

Jami and BJ Schall stacked bowling pins so their three young children could roll pumpkins down a ramp in attempts to achieve a strike. 

“They’ve been dying to do this since last year,” Schall said. 

The results of Harvest Fest competitions are as follows: 



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