KINGSBURG – If you needed an excuse to get out and enjoy good music, good food and good local shopping, Kingsburg offered visitors all three during its annual Harvest Moon Music Festival in Downtown Sept. 23.

“We just want everyone to relax, have fun, eat good food, buy some cute stuff and listen to some amazing music,” Kingsburg Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kaitlyn Groft said. “It’s just a really fun event with food trucks, local craft and retail vendors so you can start shopping and get some home décor. There’s some adorable signs out there.”

This year’s festival included new features – the cornhole tournament and a petting zoo by SpiritHorse Connections.

And no music festival would be complete without live bands. The musical line-up this year included local Kingsburg bands Common Sense, Old Soul Gathering, Midnight Wine and Aubrey Road playing on two different stages at either end of the Downtown Draper.

The cornhole action took place on Marion Street near City Hall while the petting zoo of animals from SpiritHorse took place at Coffee Pot Park.

Groft said she couldn’t pick just one booth as a favorite and had plans to “see all of them.”

Kingsburg’s Brian Muro brought his daughter Lily Muro to see the animals before visiting the rest of the festival.

“Our daughter really loves animals and she like saying ‘hi’ and petting them so it was a nice experience.” While the chicks were her favorite, Lily couldn’t quite figure out what Murray was.

Cristen Campini, a SpiritHorse Connections volunteer, said most visitors mistook Murray for a llama but he’s actually an alpaca. Helping visitors learning about the critters was part of their motivation to take part in the festival, she said. Aside from Murray, they also brought Mini Muffin the horse, newborn chicks, a goat, a lamb, a duck, a Brahma chicken, a furry tarantula and a wild bunny.

“We’re a nonprofit and for the most part, all of our animals are rescue animals,” Campini said. The organization also offers therapeutic and traditional horse-riding lessons.

“Visitors learn that we have something like this in Kingsburg that they weren’t aware of and they find out we have volunteer opportunities or that we host birthday parties. And they get to have a little bit of farm fun here in the city. We’ve brought the farm to you.”

Back on Draper Street, Chamber bookkeeper Barbara Little was supervising the cornhole games which were drawing a number of participants and spectators. Although the game is simple, the fun is in teasing your competition, she said.

“You have to have thick skin to play cornhole,” Little said. Players toss bags filled with corn kernels in attempt to have the sack slide into a large hole in a board several feet away. If you make it, your team gets three points. If you only land on the board, it’s one point. The first team to get 21 points wins.

Kingsburg’s Karen Protzmann said she was new to the game but was having fun giving it a try.

“I’ve never really played in a tournament like this. It’s a good way to pass the time.”

Swedish Queen attendant Claire Bennett was among attendees visiting the vendors booths.

“First, I just wanted to see what Kingsburg has to offer, which is a lot. Then, I’ll go to my friend Shyanna Ward’s booth. She makes these little candles and hand pour them with 100 percent real wax and she’s only 13. She works at Trinkets and Treasures and makes super good candles. They smell really, really good.”

Bekah Workman brought her nieces Kaia and Kali Workman and their friend Madysen Delgado to the event. They were enjoying tacos, quesadillas and a corn dog from the various vendors on hand.

“I think the best part was the marionette puppets by the games,” Kaia said.

Bekah preferred all the food options.

“The best part is eating fattening food and hanging out with family,” she said while eating tacos. “Maybe later I’ll have a beer.”

Blend Wine Room co-owner Luis Patlan said it was their second year of participating in the event to give Moon Music Festival-goers a beer garden to enjoy tucked away from the rest of the festival.

“Last year, it went very well and we hope this year it’s the same. We make sure it’s a well-controlled area with nice tables and chairs so people can relax and enjoy themselves.”

“So the music and food’s out there, but if people want to come in, rest and have a nice bottle of wine or a beer they can. Earlier we tried the food and listened to the music. I like the lumpia and normally we get the kettle corn.”

Out-of-town visitors Emma Bomben and her brother Logan Bomben were painting small wooden dala horses at one booth. They came in from Pismo with their parents Tim and Jennifer Bomben to visit their grandparents Rick and Patricia Bomben.

“I like the music a lot,” Emma said. She said later she may even be bold enough to get up and dance to the songs.

Logan liked the dala horses the best and would later put it on his dresser. Their parents had thought the event was a farmer’s market and were glad they were able to attend.

“We just stumbled upon it. It’s great,” Jennifer Bomben said.

The reporter can be reached at 583-2427 or lbrown@selmaenterprise.com.

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