There was Corn Chucking, encouraging youngsters to toss ears of corn through cut-out targets in a plywood board. Elsewhere, children stepped into potato sacks to race each other around a small obstacle course. A band played in another area, while a face painter created elaborate designs on the faces of young ones.
"We really wanted to bring our school into the community with an old-fashioned and different event," said Megin Cramer, a coordinator of the Harvest Fest along with Liz Heres, both parents of children at the school, which operates out of First Church Congregational across from Town Hall Green. In fact, Cramer has five children in the school -- a set of twins in the third grade and triplets in kindergarten.
Cramer said the event is the school's second annual seasonal celebration.
"We had a great response last year -- 750 attendees," she said. "We raised over $9,000." She had high hopes Saturday of topping those numbers, given the spectacular, crisp fall weather.
Proceeds from the Harvest Fest will help fund scholarships at the school, which offers programming to toddlers through fifth-graders. Children are taught in five classrooms, supported by nine teachers and support staff.
In addition to some of the fun games at the festival, which also included a Tower of Cans, Pong Cups and a Haystack Search, the event featured crafts, a baked goods sale, food vendors like Skinny Pines Pizza, local businesses selling their wares and a photographer.
Melody Waterhouse, another Montessori parent and co-chairwoman of the GRAPES organization, the school's version of a P.T.A., said, "This event is a great demonstration of how a community can pull together to brighten the lives of children and build a future together."