BETHEL – “A Harvest of Local Talent” and “Celebrating the Olympic Spirit” are the general themes of the 11th annual Bethel Harvest Fest & Chowdah Cook-off scheduled for Sept. 19-21.

Friday will provide an opportunity to tour the area and enjoy such seasonal activities as apple and pumpkin picking, visiting alpacas and watching businesspeople put the finishing touches on their Olympic-spirited scarecrow displays.

Saturday, Sept. 20, at 9 a.m., more than 40 crafters and farmers will be on the Bethel Common. At 11:30 a.m., the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce will begin selling tickets for the popular Chowdah Cook-off pitting area restaurants against one another. Accompanying the cook-off will be the sixth annual apple pie contest open to both professional pastry chefs and talented home bakers. Three categories will be judged: amateur traditional crust pie, amateur nontraditional crust pie and professional pie.

Local talent, including Jewel Clark, will perform in the gazebo throughout the day. Bring a lawn chair. Free horse-drawn wagon rides through Bethel village will be provided from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

There will be a raffle for a chain saw carving of a bear that local artist Steve Stone will be carving on-site.

During the day, at several locations up and down the Androscoggin River, the Upper Andro Anglers Alliance will host a two-fly contest. At 3 p.m., all the float boats participating in the event will parade into Bethel village, and the contest winner will be announced at the gazebo. The UAAA will staff a booth with fly-tying demonstrations and fly-casting instruction all day.

Events on the common will wind down after 4 p.m., but area merchants and restaurants will remain open.

On Sunday, there will be a drift boat competition from Bethel Outdoor Adventures to Davis Park; a scenic bicycle tour to a local apple orchard; apple picking; farm visits; and other outdoor activities.

For more information, contact the chamber of commerce at 824-2282 or log on to

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.