10 essential Parks and Rec episodes to watch when you’re missing Pawnee

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Season 3, Episode 7: “Harvest Festival”

Harvest Festival” is the first time that viewers — along with Ben Wyatt and Chris Traeger — get to experience one of Pawnee’s community events. We follow Leslie as she plans the Harvest Festival, having to deal with backlash from the chief of the local Wamapoke Tribe in the process. He tells the townspeople that holding the festival on sacred land will lead to a curse, later admitting that he was playing on the fact that white people are “terrified of curses.”

Naturally, some of the residents of Pawnee do panic about the curse. But the Parks Department goes along with the festival anyway, leading to some memorable scenes between the Parks and Rec crew. In fact, so much goes wrong prior to and during the event, it’s only fair to wonder whether there was a curse on the event.

It’s during this episode that April first tells Andy she’s in love with him, to which he responds by telling her how “awesomesauce” that is. Even with the argument that follows Andy’s silly response, it’s a big moment for the two of them, especially given how rocky their relationship started out.

And, of course, “Harvest Festival” is the first episode where fans meet Li’l Sebastian, Pawnee’s celebrity miniature horse whose significance Ben doesn’t quite understand. The entire city is excited at the prospect of Li’l Sebastian being at the festival though, making things a bit awkward when Tom manages to lose the little guy. Naturally, Jerry takes the blame.

As if losing Pawnee’s beloved miniature horse isn’t bad enough, there’s also a power outage during the Harvest Festival. Leslie eventually convinces the Wamapoke chief to help by lending them a power generator and holding a ceremony to “remove the curse.” In typical Parks and Rec fashion, the event comes together in the end, even if it takes a while to get there. And Ben even warms to Li’l Sebastian in the end—a little bit, at least.