With harvest season well under way and farmers hard at work preparing all of the produce that makes its way onto dinner plates across America, Quincy held its annual Farmer Consumer Awareness Day festivities.
Held annually on the second Saturday in September, the celebration was started in 1981 after Grant County-resident Dennis Higashiyama heard a caller on a radio show ask why farmers were necessary when food could be bought at a grocery store.
To Higashiyama, this illustrated how little consumers understood about the food they bought at said grocery stores, and he sought a way to bring farmers and consumers back together.
In Quincy Saturday, farmers and consumers came together 37 years later for another day of celebration and recognition for the literal fruits of farm labor. The celebration was expanded this year to include the Grand Parade, the Farm to Market Fun Run, a car show and more.
This year’s hot air balloon and fireworks display was canceled, but festivities got underway with a breakfast sponsored by the local Lions Club chapter. A “Beat the Beast” 2K/5K fun run followed, sponsored by the Ben Horning Memorial Foundation.
A Grand Parade marched, danced and drove its way throughout town as hundreds of onlookers lined the sidewalks. Floats, colorful dancers, antique tractors, unicyclist and ponies all played a part in making the procession diverse and lively. Children flocked to a petting zoo while cowboys-at-heart attended a reading by Glen Bair, cowboy poet.
Plumes of black diesel smoke at the annual tractor pull illustrated the power of both new and antique engines, as riders ripped their way down a dirt track. Less practical antique vehicles took part in the car show, where antique trucks and muscle cars vied for the crowd’s attention.
Food and produce booths were active throughout the day, with displays teeming with fruits and vegetables from local farms. Illustrating the importance of some crops to the region, the event held a cook-off where entries were required to include potatoes, corn, beans or apples.