Category Archives: Harvest Homecoming

Q&A with junior Lexie Stites: Miss Harvest Homecoming’s Outstanding Teen 2019

By Mary Ficker

What does winning the title of Miss Harvest Homecoming’s Outstanding Teen mean to you?

LS: “It means that I have an incredible opportunity to connect and make an impact in my own community! With this title I am a spokesperson for New Albany and Floyd County and hope to do everything thing I can do with that responsibility.”

How has the Miss America Organization impacted your life?

LS: “The Miss America Organization has taught me the importance of service, skills that will help me in my future life, such as interview tactics, and has also given me the opportunity to meet so many new people and create lifelong friendships!”

What do you plan to do during your year as Miss Harvest Homecoming’s Outstanding Teen?

LS: “During my year I plan to share my platform Dance Across Borders as much as possible and inspire others to join me in benefiting their communities as well.”

What are you looking forward to most during the Harvest Homecoming Festival?

LS: “Everything! Pumpkin Chucking, booth days, and all the food! I can’t wait for the nonstop fun I know I am going to have!”

What do you hope to achieve with your platform this year?

LS: “I will continue to donate and share opportunities for dance with underprivileged children and keep raising money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals by using the ties I have in the local arts centers to share our talents to benefit those who may not be able to themselves.”

What is your main goal this year when you compete for the title of Miss Indiana’s Outstanding Teen in June of 2020? 

LS: “I want to have a good time, that’s for sure number one on my list! Last year I won an interview preliminary so repeating that along with a talent preliminary award are my two set goals!”

Q&A with Harvest Homecoming booth workers

By Annalise Bassett

Connie Chenault, member of The Pilot Club

What is it like to sell at Harvest Homecoming?

  • “It’s wonderful, fun, and exciting to see all the people that come back year after year.”

Why do you choose to come to Harvest Homecoming for your business?

  • “It is the fundraiser for our (the Pilot Club’s) Safety Town, and [out of] all the other fundraisers for the Pilot Club International, this is our biggest fundraiser of the year.”

What kind of things do you sell?

  • “We sell pumpkin ice cream and cookies and cream ice cream only, and we’ve been doing it for 48 years.”

What is your favorite part of selling at Harvest Homecoming?

  • “Just the renewal, seeing friends come back year after year.”

Is there anything else my readers need to know?

  • “The kids look forward to Safety Town each year, and they know that this booth represents the funding for that for them, and I think that’s it for Harvest, and we like to keep the tradition going.”


Michele Finn, owner of Jubilee Essential Oils

What is it like to sell at Harvest Homecoming?

  • “It’s a lot of fun! You get to educate people, you get to share stories with people about the products you have and how they’ve used it and what it’s done for them, so there’s a lot of bonding with the community. It’s awesome.”

Why do you choose to come to Harvest Homecoming for your business?

  • “It’s a very popular place, there’s a lot of traffic, and there’s a lot of local families that I know. I’ve probably had about 500 hugs this weekend. So it’s all the added bonuses, being part of the community, having a lot of people that you get to reach out to and be able to talk to.”

What kind of things do you sell?

  • “I have essential oils from all over the world, and I also have pure Kentucky hemp oil.”

What is your favorite part of selling at Harvest Homecoming?

  • “Seeing everybody that I know. Seeing people who I haven’t seen for a long time, and getting to catch up, and also educating people about the hemp CBD products and how they do not compare to some of the products that might be sold on the streets for other purposes.”

Is there anything else my readers need to know?

  • “Plant medicine is amazing.”


Rachel Reich-Squillante, owner of The Studio Belly Dance and More

What is it like to sell at Harvest Homecoming?

  • “Fun, exhilarating, exciting, sweet. I love the interaction with people, just finding out their stories, and just the connections that you make.”
The Studio 1
Owner Rachel Reich-Squillante talks to a customer about the products she has to offer at her Harvest Homecoming Booth. Photo by Annalise Bassett.

Why did you choose to come to Harvest Homecoming for your business?

  • “My storefront is right [on] one of the main streets of Harvest Homecoming booths, and it brings in more customers in a weekend than in six months of being in my building.”

What kind of things do you sell?

  • “Bling-bling (what some customers refer to her jewelry as), jewelry. We’re expanding a little bit now from just belly dance attire to bring in some work out [and] street clothing, like leggings and sweaters, and just little trinkets and gifts and jewelry. They call [my booth] the ‘bling bling booth.’”

What is your favorite part of selling at Harvest Homecoming?

  • “Going back to the first question, the connections that I make, knowing the community a little bit better, people coming to say hello to me, little things like that. Like, this year, it really touches my heart, warms my heart, when people come in and [they’re] like, ‘I come here every year to see what piece of jewelry I’m gonna get from you because you have the most pretty jewelry!’ so you know, just connections. People connections.”

Learn about FC’s new arts directors

By Hannah Tarr and Abby Chovan

Assistant band director Briston Hatchell 

Number one fun fact He once auditioned for The Voice.
“It was just kind of on a whim. It’s very unlike me, I’ve never wanted to be on TV or anything, but for some reason I just had this idea of, ‘I’m going to go audition for The Voice.’ And it was interesting. I didn’t make it, it wasn’t televised, but it was interesting. It was in 2012.”
Birthday August 20, 1988
“It’s today (the day he was interviewed). It’s on my shirt, I think. ‘Established 1988.’ My mom got me this shirt, so I figured I’d wear it.”
Number of tattoos One
“Maybe more soon. Or eventually.”
Places he’s lived Here

Cincinnati, Ohio

Thibodaux, Louisiana

Columbus, Georgia

McAllen, Texas

Favorite holiday Christmas
“Probably a toss-up between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I really like the food of Thanksgiving- well, I’ll say Christmas because I just make the same food for Christmas.”
Favorite food Tacos/ Mexican food
“I could pretty much eat that all the time.”
Favorite book The Gone World by Tom Sweterlitsch
Favorite movie Snakes on a Plane
“I do have a birthday tradition that goes back to high school, so I’m going to put it here, which is watching Snakes on a Plane. In 2007, I think, on my birthday, yeah, we went to see Snakes on a Plane. So put Snakes on a Plane as my favorite. It’s a goofy movie. And the soundtrack is really good too.”
Favorite TV show Big Brother
“The reality TV show. It’s terrible, and horrible for you. It’s like the TV equivalent of eating candy, but that’s it.”
Favorite drum corps Carolina Crown
“Well, I have to say Carolina Crown. I have to.”
Role model His mom
“She’s always taught me to follow my passion and work hard at whatever it is, and she’s never let me take the easy way out.”
Movie of his life would be called Goofy Socks
“I wear goofy socks all the time. I like to stand out in weird ways like that, like I don’t want to wear a goofy shirt, but I like to stand out in the subtle ways like socks.”
Life motto Strike a match, hope it lasts.
“It’s a Less than Jake song lyric.”


Technical director Jared Willis

Number one fun fact His first and only time acting onstage was during Celtic Dreams, as the Fairy King. He wore a morph suit and a dance belt and had to dance around under the black lights.
“You could see my entire butt.”
Birthday November 16, 1994
Number of tattoos Two
“How many do you see?”
Places he’s lived Here
“I am a resident of this area. Born and raised.”
Favorite holiday Christmas
“Yesterday was National Chicken Wing Day. And Cowboy, and Lipstick… the holy trinity.”
Favorite food Salmon
“I’m trying to move away from red meat.”
Favorite book The Lord of the Rings
Favorite movie Pirates of the Caribbean
Favorite theatre show Les Miserables
Favorite TV show Game of Thrones, or Parks and Rec
Role model His father
“You know, there’s so many individuals who have just taught me so much about my life. It’s hard to just pin on one single individual. But there are just countless figures from history that I constantly look to for inspiration. FDR, Eleanor Roosevelt, are two that come to mind. But really, if I think I was going to say my one personal role model, it would be my father.”
Movie of his life would be called Young, Scrappy, and Hungry
Life motto No worries

Column: Rookies usher in new baseball era

By JD McKay

After 162 games, a week of awards, and a great postseason the Major League Baseball season is over. The Astros finally won a World Series, Aaron Judge had the greatest rookie season of all time, and home runs hit an all-time high. Plus, my Yankees look like they will be a powerhouse for the next 10 years. The Yankee’s potential inspired me to predict next year’s results.

Offseason transactions haven’t started, but as of Nov. 22 next year’s World Series will see the Yankees beating the Cubs in six games. The Cubs will need to add one pitcher to be able to beat the Dodgers and be back to truly being World Series contenders. The Yankees have one of the highest MLB payrolls and a farm system stuffed with talent, just waiting for the players to mature enough to be MLB caliber.

The Astros and Yankees will become baseball’s newest playoff rival. Yearly we will see Judge vs George Springer and Gary Sanchez vs José Altuve. The National League doesn’t look like any two teams will be like the Yankees and Astros.

Until Clayton Kershaw retires, the Dodgers will also be a dominant team in the NL. The only team that can truly compete with them as of right now is a healthy Nationals team. Unfortunately, they are never heath and like to choke in the postseason.

Now to last season. In case you missed it, the World Series was spectacular. Once again, home runs were hit at an all time high, 25 homeruns were hit in the series, and eight in Game 2.

This season, Judge hit 52 home runs and Giancarlo Stanton hit 59. Both guys are 6’6” or taller and the tallest position players in the MLB. Plus, rookie Cody Bellinger hit 39 home runs and only played three quarters of the season. Edinson Volquez threw the only no hitter and Madison Bumgarner, a pitcher, hit two home runs on opening day.

Speaking of rookies, Bellinger and Judge were unanimous Rookies of the Year, and Judge was second in the AL MVP votes. Altuve won the AL MVP by 150 points. The NL MVP was much closer. Stanton’s incredible second half of the season made him MVP, two points over Reds future Hall of Famer Joey Votto. The Twins manager Paul Molitor won 85 games and made the playoffs after 103 losses the year before.

All in all, this was an incredible MLB season. The Yankee’s young stars arrived and started a new Yankees dynasty a few years early. The World Series went to seven games and saw several extra innings. We also saw the Astros finally reach the mark they have been trying reach for several years. The 2017 baseball was a season of surprise and home runs. Hopefully the upcoming 2018 season will be as spectacular.

Harvest Homecoming committee prepares float for parade

Photos by Hannah Clere