Get your Work Done and Come Have some Fun! This was the 2009 theme chosen by the Harlan Days Committee. It is a recollection of a past 1950’s theme. At that time Harlan was a community of farmers and by the first week in August most of the crops were harvested and it was time for farmers to take a break. That theme stated “The works all done. Let’s have some fun.” Fun in those days was getting all dressed up and hurrying to Harlan Days with the family to watch the “Balloon Ascension.” It consisted of one big black canvas balloon (probably from all the soot created by the fire below it) going high into the sky with one lonely man (also black with soot) hanging under it by a simple harness. A far cry from the beautiful colorful gas powered balloons we see today. While it was exciting to watch the struggle to hold the balloon down (it took many men), it was even more exciting to see the man parachute to the ground after becoming just a speck in the sky. Usually he landed far from the take-off site in a big open field. It was a dangerous way to make a living and most everyone in Harlan and the surrounding area would be watching in amazement.. That first 1947 Harlan Day was held on the old school grounds and a horse and tractor pulls was the only “arena” event. When the new Harlan park was built in the early 50’s it was possible to expand…, and expand we have.
Thanks to the huge effort of our entire community, Harlan Days has become our town’s biggest annual event. It’s always held on the first weekend of August and the entire profits go toward maintaining and improving our park.