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Pumpkinfest Update to the Community

September 11, 2021



Update to the Community, September 12, 2021

Because our citizens' appetite for a live event is high, and under the guidance of our Public Health Unit, our Board has taken steps to reintroduce some favourite live events as well as running a virtual weigh off.  The weekend before Thanksgiving, October 2 & 3 Pumpkinfest 2021 will be a “hybrid” that includes both live and virtual components.

In 2021, as we reviewed the 2020 online live virtual webcast featuring our Bruce Power International Weigh Off event and considered its potential in the future the decision was made to embrace the concept of virtual production in 2021 and the future – and to find ways to share the production with more viewers, while striving to be more diverse and inclusive with this aspect of the festival.  Discussions are underway to work with our Diversity Partner Enbridge to include Ojibwa, French and ASL interpretations and stories within the live webcast.  Although no public access will be allowed into the indoor venue, it will be broadcast live to a Jumbotron outdoors in Pumpkinfest village in the food court/ vendor area.

The Midway returns!  Both Saturday and Sunday of the festival a limited midway will be within the village gates.

The Cinderella’s Car Show on Saturday returns!  Working within our capacity guidelines and resources, we have been approved for a static Car show on Saturday in the 4 blocks of the downtown core.  All cars must pre-register for the Virtual and Fall Colour Tour on Sunday, and the first 175 that are interested will be invited to line our streets on Saturday only.  The Sunday Fall Colour Tour sponsored by Vanderwerf’s Independent starts at the store at 11am.  All cars will be passing live streaming cameras on the shore road feeding the live broadcast to the Jumbotron onsite on Sunday. 

Pumpkin Pack Wednesdays are back!

Pumpkinfest and OPG are once again pleased to partner with the Town, MacGregor Point Park, the Saugeen Metis and Bruce Conservancy to offer FREE pumpkin kits, and a fun and educational activity that children can do from the safety of home.  We are encouraging all recipients and the public to upload a picture of their carved pumpkins that we will place on our website and spotlight during the live webcast. The program runs on Wednesdays prior to October 2nd.  Do not miss the fun, as quantities are limited!

When:  Wednesday, September 15, 22 and 29;  3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Where:  Hi-Berry Farm, 5639 Highway 21, North of Port Elgin

The Port Elgin Rotary will be selling pumpkin pies, the Port Elgin Lions Club will be running a MEGA BINGO on Saturday night.  Watch the website for further updates!

To aid our long-standing organizations that have worked our gates or handled our garbage in the past, we are creating similar contracts for our non-profits to help us monitor the visitors at the entry and exit points.  If you are part of a group that wants to help contact us!

Hours and admission:

Pumpkinfest Village is open to the public:

  • Saturday, October 2, 10am to 6pm
  • Sunday, October 3, 11am to 4pm

Cinderella’s Carriage Saturday Downtown

  • Open to the public 10am to 3pm
  • Road closure in place 7am to 4pm

Admission by donation this year because the board decided an inclusive community celebration was in order after almost 2 years of COVID - but you must enter and exit through the gates so we can monitor capacity.  Masks must be worn unless you’re sitting down to eat.  Maps are below.

Of note:

  • Pumpkinfest Village 2 gates will be on Bricker Street at Gustavus and Mill Street
  • Saturday Car Show along Hwy 21 only from Gustavus Street to Market Street, leaving alleyways open for residents and the business community.  Public Entrance/Exits are at Gustavus and Market Streets so that we can monitor capacity.  Participating Cars will arrive from the west along Green Street

Limited shuttle service is available, we have made arrangements for shuttles to run in Port Elgin from the Plex, Curling Club, behind Giant Tiger and from the beach. 

While the live feed will bring you the action on Saturday October 2nd pre-taped fun, such as our VIP seed-spitting, pumpkin carving, local decoration contest, on-line Car Show submissions, and the Harvest Star Search talent show entries and local musicians will be aired throughout the day as we move vegetables on and off the scales.  The static Car Show on Saturday may not be as big as previous years, but can house 175 cars safely and should be a great show to walk through!  The GIANT Bingo Saturday night and the social distancing Rolling Car Show through the community on Sunday, should culminate in a fun safe weekend for all.

Historically, Port Elgin Pumpkinfest is the biggest and multiple award-winning festival in Bruce County.  As stated by the Honourable Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, “The hospitality and events industry is one of the hardest hit sectors by Covid 19, and will take the longest to recover.”  The Pumpkinfest Team is proud to make this step to help the recovery along.

This is just a brief update, watch our website and like us on facebook to receive weekly updates and additions.

Thank you for your support as we steer through these uncharted waters!

With best regards,

The Pumpkinfest Team




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Comments (4)

  • Posted by Bill McDougall on 10/02/21 9:42am

    Thank you for letting everyone know. It would have been nice if Pumpkinfest organizers had announced this but that may be asking too much of them.

  • Posted by Unknown on 10/02/21 9:17am

    Passports need to go on the midway but not the pumpkinfest village … however, you need to wear a mask the entire time your in the pumpkinfest village and at the car show.

  • Posted by Rachel on 09/27/21 8:40am

    Are we required to have this passport to attend?

  • Posted by Angela Hope on 09/25/21 10:52pm

    I love coming to Pumpkinfest from southwestern Ontario and enjoying the displays and playing the Bingo. The Pumpkin pies are incredible!

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