Four Rivers Church at Hunters' Moon Festival 2012

The 35th annual Hunters' Moon Festival is set for this weekend in Grand Rivers. The photo above is a scene from the Hunters' Moon Parade last year.

Hunter Moon Festival ready for fun this weekend

(Filed October 8, 2013) Grand Rivers- The events for Hunters’ Moon Festival actually begin Thursday night , Thursday October 10, 2013 with the Little Mr. and Miss Pageant but of course the festival everyone been waiting for all year long kick off on Saturday morning, October 12, 2013. Now for more than 30 year Grand Rivers and Grand Rivers Chamber of Commerce have been celebrating the fall season with their annual Hunters’ Moon Festival.

Yes that’s correct “Hunter’s Moon” not Harvest Moon although you will occasionally hear the festival referred to as the Harvest Moon Festival the event actually comes closest to the phase of the moon in Autumn called “Hunter’s Moon”.

A Hunter’s Moon is quite different than the big ole orange-yellow moon we see rising early in fall evenings. A Hunter’s Moon is the very bright silvery-white moon we see on cool cloudless nights in autumn and winter. The illumination from those moons allowed hunter’s to pursue prey at night in the days before electric flash lights and other sources of artificial illumination.

The late Chet Badger is credited with coming up with the unique name for the festival many years ago. In those days in Grand Rivers the month with the second highest visitation was October due to the availability of bow deer hunting opportunities in the Land Between the Lakes of course deer hunting is not allowed during night time hours but their were lots of locals who enjoyed ‘coon hunting and ‘possum hunting and indeed the very first Hunter’s Moon Parades included floats with ‘coon hunters, ‘coon dogs and one live ‘coon in a cage tied high in a tree mounted on the float.

It was quite a sight to both see and hear the ‘coon hunters and their baying hounds rolling down the street on their float in the Hunter’s Moon Festival. It has been many, many years since the ‘coon hunters and their hounds and the captive ‘coon have been in the parade. Times are quite different now and perhaps it would be alright for the hunters and their hounds to ride in the parade but having a live ‘coon in a cage above the frantically baying hounds probably would become a problem very quickly.

Some of the Hunters’ Moon Festival highlights include: Little Mr. and Miss Pageant Thursday Night at the Grand Lakes Senior Citizens Center, Food, Craft and Retail Vendors all day long Saturday, Children's Games and Activities, Corn Hole Tournament, the huge Hunters’ Moon Parade begins at 2:00 PM on Saturday, October 12, 2013, there will also be the street dance in the Little Lake Park on Saturday with Stanley Walker.

One of the biggest draws for people coming to the Hunter’s Moon Festival is the food vendors in Little Lake Park. For some people the event isn’t complete with out a turkey leg from Patti’s Restaurant’s booth in the park. They are also well known for their pork tenderloin sandwiches and ice cold root beer. Many local restaurants are on hand serving their featured dishes at the park during Hunter’s Moon. Home Town Market’s Bubba Burgers are very much in demand as is barbeque from several different local firms including Mr. BBQ. Pokey’s Café will be serving hot dogs and burgers in downtown Grand Rivers and if you have a sweet tooth for fudge you will not want to miss going to the Fudge Factory. They will have several special flavors just for Hunters’ Moon.
If you want to be in the Hunters’ Moon Parade you can enter your antique car or tractor, or make a float with your club, school group, or church. There is significant prize money to be had in the Hunters’ Moon Parade including: 1st Place, $300; 2nd Place $200 and 3rd Place $100. To enter or to get additional information please Email: newhome446@yahoo.com or emoryandsuzy@gmail.com .