The city of Hartford will hold its annual festival, which was renamed the Hartford Holiday Festival last year, on Saturday.

This year's festival organizer, Stacy Woolen, said while it is her first year putting the festival together, it is shaping up to be a big event for the community with more than 30 vendors booked and more expected.

"It's been awesome ... I have around 30 vendors coming; art and crafts and jewelry and those kinds of things, and everybody had been wonderful."

For more than 20 years, the Hartford Harvest Festival was held during the fall but was canceled last year since the Hartford Merchants were holding a Christmas festival less than a month after. Woolen said she decided to create a new tradition this year by continuing with the holiday festival.

"It's just kind of a new twist to it," she said. "I hope it's a tradition that we start and keep going."

Woolen said when she took over this year, she decided to gear the festival more toward kids, adding inflatables, face painting and a horse and buggy ride, all of which will be free for children.

Additionally, Woolen said there will be a raffle for several items donated by local businesses. Proceeds from the raffle will benefit the resource center for the Hartford schools to provide Christmas gifts for students in need.

There will also be several nonprofit organizations at the event including the Humane Society of Ohio County and the Ohio County Food Pantry.

The food pantry will be giving out free hot chocolate to anyone that donates non-perishable foods at their booth.

There will be several other activities including a dress your pet contest judged by the humane society as well as a dressing cook-off to celebrate Thanksgiving. Photos with Santa will be available at Omadarlings.

The Hartford Holiday Festival will be held on Saturday in downtown Hartford off of U.S. 231 near the Ohio County Courthouse.

Cnetherton@mcleannews.com,

270-691-7360.

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