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The Vault: Harvest Homecoming's fall celebration rooted in community, culture

The annual fall festival was started in 1967 and was originally a three-day event centered around community and pumpkins.

NEW ALBANY, Ind. — Harvest Homecoming has been a proud tradition of New Albany, Indiana.

The annual fall festival was started in 1967 and was originally a three-day event centered around community and pumpkins.

Fast-forward 50 years and the tradition has grown into one of Indiana’s largest festivals and draws thousands of visitors to the city for the weeklong celebration.

For many Hoosiers, it’s more than just fun and games, it’s tradition. Then there’s also the tradition rooted in food.

From chicken and dumplings to roasted corn – apple butter and the famous donuts, Harvest Homecoming offers many tasty treats to those who take part in the festivities.

WHAS11 News was there when 1980 when the then “Biggest Apple Pie in the World” was made at the festival.

The pie was eight-inches deep with a 10-foot diameter and made with 2,320-pounds of sugar, 30-pounds of butter, 400-pounds of pastry, 10-pounds of cornstarch, 5-pounds of spices and 65 barrels of apples.

It weighed 3,000-pounds and needed a forklift to get into the oven.

Credit: WHAS-TV
A group constructs the World's Largest Apple Pie at Harvest Homecoming in 1982.

Year after year, a lot of loving care goes into the famous farm-based festival where every family, food offering, and fun activity is designed to celebrate a community proud of its roots.

The 53rd Harvest Homecoming wrapped up with closing ceremonies on Sunday. The event is put on by a group of dedicated volunteers who will begin work on 2022’s event early next year.

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