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Longford Blessing of the Harvest Festival
1 March 2015
Blessing of the Harvest Festivals date back to feudal times in England and Europe when rural communities gave thanks for the land, their families and animals, and prayed for the land to be productive.
Longford?s festival was first held in 1995 and has been conducted each year since.
Previously it was run by a committed band of local volunteers and interest groups but now the Longford Rotary Club has the lead role. The March , 2014 festival will be Longford Rotary Clubs fourth running of the family fun day and this years festival will be themed around the 200th anniversary of Longford?s settlement.
The festival is a wide ranging celebration, bringing the community together, showcasing the town, and generating funds for distribution to local causes such as schools, volunteer fire brigades and the Scouts.
Traditionally, the festival gets underway with a grand parade from the showgrounds and along the main street to the village green.
Animals, floats, dancers, and displays from various community organisations and schools weave their way along the kilometre-long route. An ecumenical blessing is performed as the parade nears the heart of the village.
Throughout the day there is bush and colonial music, old-time competitions such as sheaf tossing and egg-a-pult, games, balloon art, circus activities, face painting, marshmallow cooking over an open fire, chainsaw wood carving, and the ever-popular pets parade hosted by a TV celebrity; accompanied by plenty of food and drink, of course.