Carlisle Celebrates 40th Annual Harvest of the Arts Festival


Harvest of the Arts, the annual arts festival held in downtown Carlisle, had its 40th anniversary this past Saturday, September 24th. Open from 10am to 5pm, the festival had a great array of vendors, food, and activities.

The first event that Dickinsonians would have seen going into town on Saturday were all the classic cars parked on High Street in front of the Academic Quad. There were lots of makes and models, from both French and British sports cars to a sparkly orange Volkswagen dune buggy. This section of the festival, the Artistry on Wheels Motorshow, was a joint coordination between Harvest of the Arts and Meeting of the Marques to celebrate the artistry of all kinds of automobiles.  

Walking further down High Street, the festival really began, with many vendors set up with tables and tents to sell their wares and get more exposure in the Carlisle community. Outside of Bosler Memorial Library, the Friends of Bosler Memorial Library had a table set up to re-sell decorated Meadowbrooke Gourds in order to raise money for the library, which is working on several projects, including a children’s learning library.

Dizzy Owl Crochet, a small business by Breann Knox from Mechanicsburg, Pa., has been coming to Harvest of the Arts for seven years. Knoxs ells adorable stuffed animals, such as elephants and octopi, which are all crocheted by hand. She was glad that Harvest of the Arts “never missed a beat” when it was coming back from the COVID-19 pandemic after a hiatus in 2020, and that everything is fully back to normal. She appreciated that the festival typically overlaps with homecoming or family events at Dickinson, which provides more potential buyers for the vendors all around.

One particularly impressive vendor was Christina Helferich-Polosky, who runs Wounded Not Worthless, an online art gallery which aims to promote and support female veteran artists. Helferich-Polosky, who served 11 years in the Army, went through a very difficult time after being medically discharged from the Army in 2009. However, after going to a painting class one night in 2012, she realized the activity made her feel like she could “start living again,” and decided to give it a try, starting from scratch in an Art BFA program.

 Through Wounded Not Worthless, Helferich-Polosky focuses on amplifying the perspectives of wounded female veterans who express themselves through art, but may not otherwise receive support or connections to others in their craft. She also works with the nonprofit Uniting Us, which is also designed to support artists who are veterans. Helferich-Polosky attends many exhibitions and shows, and her work has been featured in places such as the Library of Congress and Women’s Memorial. At the festival, she had many of her paintings and prints for sale, expressing her experience as a veteran.

It was beautiful weather for the event on Saturday – sunny and not too hot – and the atmosphere was only helped by the refreshments and live music. With art including paintings, wood carvings, jewelry, fiber arts, and so much more, there was something for every patron.