That’s a Wrap!


Downtown Clear Lake was a buzz of activity last Saturday as the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce held the 19th annual Harvest Festival.  This premier signature event brings together everything we love about fall.  Almost 12,000 people gathered for live music, wine tasting, incredible shopping, and a plethora of fun activities.


What an amazing day for our beautiful community to showcase everything we have to offer!  Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t give Mother Nature a great big high-five for giving us the perfect fall day.

The event kicked off with the Champagne 5K.  Almost 200 participants raised a pinky and set off down South Shore Drive for this exhilarating run/walk.  Those of the appropriate drinking age had the option to indulge in a bit of bubbly at the turn-around point as they took selfies and celebrating being half done!  They then made the trek back toward the finish line, where they crossed under an array of tiny bubbles.

The best part of this race was, by far, the epic costumes.  I mean, talk about taking creativity to new heights!

We’d like to thank the Champagne 5K Sponsors for making this fun event possible:  Nash & Ivy, Glow on the Go, Bergland + Cram, Rookies, Sevens, and Tap’d.

And a big congrats to Vladimir Starrett who crossed the finish line ahead of the pack!

By the time everyone finished their bubbly run, the rest of Harvest Festival was in full swing.  Walking up and down Main Ave, my heart soared as I took in the many smiling faces.  The ladies seemed to call on their girl gangs to meet up for this epic day of fun, but I did see a lot of men enjoying the festivities, too!

See?  Harvest Festival is fun for everyone!

Of course, we wouldn’t be able to pull off this incredible event without the support and assistance of our many sponsors and volunteers.  They are truly the oil keeping the engine running smoothly on this machine!  And, of course, the fabulous Harvest Festival committee.  This crew worked all year long to secure wineries and plan every detail of this amazing day at the Lake.

Harvest Festival is made possible by our Presenting Sponsors:  MBT Bank,  CL Tel,  Larson’s Mercantile,  Clear Lake Bank & Trust,  Summit Carbon Solutions.

Hopefully everyone had the chance to check out the amazing music lineup throughout the day.  It was like the bow on top of a perfectly wrapped gift!  A special THANKS goes out to our Music Sponsors: Rookies, Sevens, Tap’d, First Citizens Bank, Apex Clean Energy/Indigo Wind, Dean Snyder Construction, Farmers State Bank, Country Meadow Place, Hogan Hansen, NTI, Ltd., and Clear Lake Storage Depot.

There were many contests and other fun snippets of activity held throughout the day.

The poles lining Main Ave were decorated by local businesses.  The salsa station was set up outside of Unique Boutique for people to taste test and vote for their favorite.  A “guess the corks” contest was at the Chamber’s Information booth.  The grape stomp competition is always a hit.  And, I might add, a lot tougher to do than you think!  Kudos to all who participated!

Here is the rundown of all the winners.  Congrats, and thank you for making Harvest Festival such a fun day for everyone!

Salsa Contest Winners: (won $50 in Chamber Bucks)

1st Place Mild – Daryl Sherman

1st Place Medium AND Hot – Gary Christensen (Double Winner!)

Guess the Corks Winner: (won $100 in Chamber Bucks)

Scott Matzen (guessed 602 | actual 599)

Best Wine of the Day:

1st Place | Van Wijk Winery with Bossy Pants

2nd Place | Brickyard Winery with Branding Iron

3rd Place | Soldier Creek Winery with Goldenrod

Pole Decorating Contest:

1st Place | Central Gardens (won $150 in Chamber Bucks)

2nd Place | Hall Realty (won $100 in Chamber Bucks)

3rd Place | Clear Lake Rotary (won $50 in Chamber Bucks)

Grape Stomp:

1st Place | Team Goodhue Grapes

Again, thanks to everyone for all their hard work in helping us pull off this spectacular event.  It really does take a village, and we are so beyond thankful for the generosity and support of this incredible community!

I’d like to say it’s time for a break, but Christmas by the Lake is only 53 days away!