MANKATO, Minn. — Athletic officials at Minnesota State University, Mankato have announced they will host the inaugural “Harvest Bowl” in conjunction with the #4 Mavericks’ football game against #11 Winona State on Saturday, Oct. 28.

The start time is scheduled for 1 p.m., and a host of events and activities will take place in the 90-minute lead-up to kickoff in the hard-surface parking lot and tailgate area just east of Blakeslee Stadium. The line-up includes a power equipment display, food vendors, academic department showcases, music by Minnesota 93 and a meat raffle. The Farm Bureau “Family Fun Zone” will also feature a mechanical bull, pumpkin painting with the University cheer and dance teams, a bounce house for the kids and a Maverick student-athlete autograph zone, with a number of other possible elements still pending final confirmation.

The Harvest Bowl is positioned to anchor Visit Mankato’s “Gather in the GreenSeam” schedule—a new initiative kicked off earlier this fall which featured a variety of regional and community events and celebrations spread over an eight-week period beginning in early September. Anna Thill, President of Visit Mankato, said she is thrilled to be working with the University and Maverick Athletics on a new event. “Minnesota State Mankato is a tremendous community asset and a very willing partner and we are excited to collaborate and have them as an integral part of our first year ‘Gather in the GreenSeam’ line-up.”

Minnesota State Mankato prides itself in being located at the epicenter of the GreenSeam, where agriculture helps to provide an important cultural and economic foundation for the region. Supporting a number of related educational programs, Minnesota State Mankato is uniquely positioned to help develop young people who may spend their careers working in the GreenSeam by educating and equipping these students with the skills and experiences necessary to further grow the economic success of the agricultural industry.  

Marilyn Wells, provost & senior vice president for academic affairs, sees the Harvest Bowl as an opportunity to showcase the University’s connection to the GreenSeam. “As an institution, Minnesota State Mankato has been working hard to share the message ‘We Have Ag’ and this event provides a unique platform to promote our related curricular programs and to demonstrate a direct, tangible link to the agricultural industry, as we are not only positioned to serve existing partners, but to also educate those that will define the future direction of these important regional resources.”

Kevin Buisman, director of athletics, foresees an exciting outlook for the event. “We intend for the Harvest Bowl to become an ongoing concern and a fixture on our fall football schedule in the years ahead with permanent placement as the fourth home game of each season. It gives us a chance to connect with an entirely different audience and acknowledge the important role of agriculture in our region. There’s no better way to celebrate the harvest than with food, friends and football and we look forward to the future growth and development of this event.”