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News and Upcoming Pumpkinfest Events

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  • Pumpkinfest Moves Downtown - Back To It's Roots
    September 19, 2016 | 0 comments

    Story via Saugeen Shores Hub Staff

    The new downtown location for Port Elgin’s Pumpkinfest, October 1 and 2, has inspired new events and activities from community members that organizers hope will instil new memories and traditions for the October festival, now celebrating its 30th year.

    A Haunted House made possible by Bruce County Playhouse will be located in the basement of Maple Hall, which is now part of Pumpkinfest Village. The Missionary Church will be home to the Giant Vegetable weight-off as well as play host to the Shoreline Artists who will have their work displayed inside.

    Pending approval from Saugeen Shores Council, from the late hours of Friday, September 30 until Sunday night, October 2, areas of Mill Street to Gustavus Street and Hilker Street to the edge of Goderich Street, will be closed to those who have not purchased admission. However, Green Street to Bricker Street will be opened during the evenings after 6 p.m., to allow traffic to and from Allan’s Fireside Grill and the Port Elgin Legion. Only one residence will be affected by the closure, and the homeowners have signed-off with their approval.

    The festival will kick-off on Friday, September 30, with the annual PubKin Crawl, with transportation provided by Grey Bruce Airbus. Establishments involved in the Crawl are: The Wismer House, Duffy’s, Queen’s Bar & Grill, Boston Pizza and Chuck’s Roadhouse Bar and Grill. Tickets are $5 and will also act as admission to the two day festival.

    Admission to Pumpkinfest Village will be $5 for anyone over the age of 5, down from $10 per adult in previous years. Children 5 and under are free. And as in previous years, admission to the Cinderella’s Classic Car Show will remain free for all those who wish to attend.

    Mandy Sebok of Pumpkinfest said in a September 10 interview that growers and vendors are excited to be closer to downtown.

    “By eliminating the disconnect between the Cinderella's Classic Car Show and Pumpkinfest Village (formerly located at Saugeen District Secondary School) it has appealed to many of our vendors, growers and volunteers. Everyone has been very excited to see how these changes will allow for visitors to take in all components of the Festival, in a one stop location,” Sebok said.

    More events and activities are being finalized and will be announced closer to the Festival but Sebok said she is most exited to see the dedicated growers after a long year. “It is their efforts that really bring Pumpkinfest to life, every year the anticipation of the weigh-in and the friendly competition is really the best part of what we do.”

    Tickets for the PubKin Crawl will be sold at participating establishments as well as at Pumpkinfest Headquarters, the Port Elgin Visitor Centre on Goderich Street.

    T-shirts and sweaters commemorating the Festival’s 30th anniversary can be purchased online at ironpromotions.com or at the Festival.

  • Society of Energy Professionals (Bruce Power Local) supports Pumpkinfest
    September 5, 2014 | 0 comments

    (Port Elgin) – On Thursday September 4, the Society of Energy Professionals (Bruce Power Local) presented a cheque in the amount of $5,000 to Sally Hunt, Pumpkinfest Coordinator. Presenting the cheque was Kevin Allin, a delegate of the organization, as well as his son Derek, who just can't wait for Pumpkinfest this year!

    These funds are used to cover all costs associated with the squash category at the Bruce Power International Grower's Tent. Hunt stated that since the Society joined the Pumpkinfest family of sponsors in this capacity, there has been a marked increase in both the interest by the growers to grow the green giants as well as a rise in the number of entries at the event. "The current World Record Squash of 1486 pounds was weighed at Port Elgin Pumpkinfest in 2011, and this smashed the previous record by more than 200 pounds. I think the injection of more prize money for the squash growers as a direct result of this partnership between the festival and the Society of Energy Professionals, is responsible for the increased interest in growing giant squash world wide". "We are so lucky in Saugeen Shores to have such community minded organizations help to keep our weigh-off tent competitive on a World Class scale. "

    If you would like more information on how to become a giant vegetable grower, information can be found on both Port Elgin Pumpkinfest's website (www.pumpkinfest.org) as well as the Giant Vegetable Grower's on Ontario website (www.gvgo.ca).

  • Pumpkinfest Volunteers Awarded for their Years of Service
    June 18, 2014 | 0 comments

    (Owen Sound) – On Monday June 9, 2014, the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration presented the Ontario Volunteer Service Awards to individuals recognized for 5 to 60+ years of continuous service in a given organization. The Ontario Honours and Awards Secretariat recognized seven Port Elgin Pumpkinfest volunteers for their dedicated years of service to the event.

    These recipients included Connie Barker (vendor director), John Kirkham (weigh-off tent), Katie Kranenburg (volunteer food services), Al Lavigne (forklift), Jody O'Hara (entertainment stage) and Shane Wells (car show). Brendon MacKenzie received the special youth award.

    Sally Hunt, Pumpkinfest Coordinator congratulates all the well-deserving volunteers, "It's very difficult to pick just 7 volunteers, but we are limited in our nominations to 6 plus one youth each year – we wish we could recognize all of them, every year!" "We are so lucky in Saugeen Shores to have such dedicated people to help keep our event sustainable and fresh. Thanks must go out to the community at large - from the business sponsors and partners, the non-profit groups who fundraise by performing a valuable service or by bringing an exciting attraction to the event, to the hundreds of individuals who graciously volunteer their time. Pumpkinfest is truly an event that takes a whole community to make it successful".

    If you would like more information on how to become an event volunteer, contact Corby Leitch, Community Relations Coordinator at Pumpkinfest Headquarters (519) 389-3714.