They call it a community fest, and Porter residents, past and present, take a lot of pride in the annual Porter Harvest Festival. "It really is a good festival and it's a lot of fun," said John Hurt after he and wife Barb were crowned King and Queen of the 2019 Porter Festival.
The crowning is sort of the unofficial kickoff for the event. After the National Anthem and the raising of the flag to officially start the festival, the annual North/South softball game begins in earnest. Porter is a small town, not the small town they talk about in the movies of about 20,000 people.
This is a SMALL town —maybe 200 people. But when the Porter Harvest Fest comes around, the meaning of “small town” comes to life. It really isn’t as much a “Fest” or a “Festival” as it is a “HOMECOMING.” It’s kinda like they were younger again, like they stepped out of the corn field in the “Field of Dreams” and suddenly they were all there, like family, and certainly like friends. Saturday Porter was in fine form, and nothing said it stronger than the annual Porter Fire Department Water Fights.
These days its mostly another “kids” event — but it’s enjoyed just the same.
Take friends Josie Frank of Canby, Claire Stoks of Porter and Josie Richards of Grantsburg, WI. They don’t see each other all that often. For Richards, it’s once a year at the Porter Harvest Fest.
But when they get together, it’s one good time after another. Saturday at the waterfights, Frank got this infectious laugh that spread to Stoks and then to Richards. They tried to aim the hose at the floating bucket to win the water fight, but when supreme laughter broke out, the water fight was over, they’d lost but all was well.
More than once I was told people come back every year, because, “It’s the highlight of the year.” It was a special time for me when I discovered old friends from Grantsburg, WI who make the trip every year because she, Jodi (McLain) Richards is from Porter. “I’m not from here but we come every year and it feels like home,” said her husband John.
Even their kids have friends they can’t wait to see each year.
Jodi worked for me in Grantsburg. In fact, she was single then and I recall introducing her to John. I really enjoyed seeing old Grantsburg friends in Porter. Such is the way it is at the Porter Harvest Fest. There’s just nothing better than good friends .... community ... and another weekend together!
LAUGH A LITTLE: He’s so dumb Boy to girl: “My principal is so dumb.” Girl to boy: Did you know I’m the principal’s daughter?” Boy to girl: “Do you know who I am?” Girl to boy: “No!” Boy to girl: “Good,” .... and he walked away.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: As my Ole Pappy used to say, “Forget all the reasons why it won’t work. Instead, focus on why it will!”
Ole Pappy was a master at pointing me in the right direction. I always wondered why he did that. The only answer I can up with was, “It was his job.” He kind took the father-thing seriously. Thanks Ole Pappy!