The 12th annual Pumpkin Festival and Parade promises another feast of fun and entertainment. Thousands of people are expected to join in the event again this year in recognition of South Holland’s status as pumpkin-growing capital of Europe.
Fairground attractions, food, live music, competitions, street entertainers, fireworks and fancy dress are all part of a programme specially devised for all the family.
The action centres on Sheep Market, Hall Place and the Market Place with the humble pumpkin the theme to South Holland’s centrepiece event.
That theme runs through the host of stalls selling soups, cakes, cookies and pies while the Bread and Butter Theatre Company’s Gardeners’ Question Time and Plunge Boom – The Vegetable Nannies promise laughs and larks for the crowds to enjoy throughout the day.
The evening programme kicks-off with a fancy dress competition and live entertainment will include Spalding Amateur Dramatic and Operatic Society and Sing South Holland will be performing.
The eagerly-anticipated parade will set off at 6.30pm, complete with this year’s Flower Queen Amy Harrison whose bespoke choice of transport will be her magical Pumpkin Coach. All are welcome to follow the orangey spectacle which will weave its way through the town.
Meanwhile in The Crescent, Vine Street and Francis Street, there’s a challenge being laid down to spot a family of meerkats lurking amid the pumpkin-themed shopfronts.
Nurseries are invited to submit pumpkin-related artwork by their children to be included in the window decorations. These should be sent to George Adams on the Crescent by 12pm, Thursday 4th October. 24 The Crescent will become a special pumpkin grotto from 4pm. For more details contact Mary Adams on 01775 725 956 and for artwork to be dropped off or posted to George Adams and Sons Retail Ltd, 25 – 26 The Crescent, Spalding, PE11 1AG.
Fireworks will light up the night sky before popular local band Zebra provide a rousing finale with their eclectic mix of musical covers of artists ranging from The Beatles to Robbie Williams.
South Holland District Council Deputy Leader, Councillor Nick Worth said: "The Pumpkin Festival is a really happy occasion which we all look forward to every year and 5th October promises to be another fabulous day out for all the family which brings a lot of people into the town centre, while boosting the local economy.
"This promotes a local farming company which is the largest producer of pumpkins in Europe. There is so much more to pumpkins than just eating them."
The festival is sponsored by grower David Bowman, one of Europe’s largest pumpkin producers. From his farm he grows and sells more than a million pumpkins each year! David Bowman kindly provides thousands of free pumpkins to schools and to local charities for the event which celebrates the harvest of the pumpkin crop in October.
Councillor Worth said: "We are especially grateful to Bowmans for their continued support for the festival. Their help contributes massively to the event's success, year in, year out."
The event started in October 2000 and has been held annually since, with the town mobilised into a march with a difference every autumn.
The Pumpkin parade is organised by South Holland District Council supported by The Rotary Club of Welland Centenary, Spalding Lions and the Crescent Traders Association. The event is being compered by community radio station Tulip Radio.