Dunbar Harvest Festival: Close Cooperation in the Community

Kids+were+eager+to+have+their+faces+painted+and+get+balloons

Kids were eager to have their faces painted and get balloons

It was a Saturday in September in the rain, but the raindrops did not play a refrain. The annual Dunbar Harvest Festival was held on September 19 this year along Dunbar Street from W 27th to 30th Avenue. Originally celebrating the reaping season in Dunbar Village which was once full of farmlands, the Festival has evolved into a carnival where different entertainments are found. Nevertheless the spirit of cooperation was still manifested by how the members in the community collaborated with each other to organise the big event in the small area.

Volunteers from Harker Hall allotting duties for each one
Volunteers from Harker Hall allotting duties for each one

The Weather Gods did not have mercy on the Dunbar community, making it a chilly rainy autumn day, but people’s attention drifted to the preparation work for the major event of the year. It was again a day with boisterous conviviality in the usually quiet place. Volunteers, including Harker Hall boarders, were convened at around eight in the morning, preparing to set up for all activities in the event. The most distinctive features you would see along the street were probably an old fashioned fire truck at 27th Avenue, two high strikers where you could test your strength at 28th Avenue, a bouncy castle at 29th Avenue, a water dunk tank in which you could get wetter at 30th Street. Two large stages were also constructed for musical performances. Both soft music and loud songs could be heard with the laughter and applause from the crowd.

A sign showing happenings (some were not included)
A sign showing happenings (some were not included)

The Festival appealed to people of all ages, especially children. There were plenty of games particularly designed for them, a miniature high striker for instance. Candies, toys, and some adorable stationeries were given to them as prizes. The greatest joy of adults was to see their kids flashing spontaneous carefree smiles.

At three in the afternoon, tents and stalls were gradually removed and the festival came to an end. Nothing was left behind except memories. The best part of the event might be the enjoyment, but what was more important was the cooperation within the community. Artists gathered to entertain others. Volunteers helped setting up and clearing out, monitoring the operation of the stalls, and maintaining the jovial atmosphere. Some shops around the area sponsored different materials, and even gave out free drinks to exhausted and thirsty staff members. “There was… good collaboration. The boys were willing to help each other, and the staff at the event… gave us directions… The communication was also very coherent… ultimately led to a smooth set up… During the event itself, a lot of boys were persistent in their job even though the rain was [trying to defeat] them… It was like a victory for the team, so overall it was a very successful event… [and a] very collaborative time,” commented Lucas Liu, a Grade 11 student volunteer at the Festival.