A pumpkin festival is an annual event celebrating the fall harvest of pumpkins widely known for their spooky orange skin and ghoulish appearance. They’re usually celebrated in October in the Northern Hemisphere, generally from mid-September to early November. “Pumpkin festivals” can also mean the Halloween festival held in many American towns in honor of the Celtic heritage of Ireland. The Irish also celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on the third Monday of September. A pumpkin cake called a “Pumpkin” is an essential tradition during these festivals.
There are three basic steps of the pumpkin festival: carving, eating, and sharing. The carving process represents the season: the long wait for the pumpkin to be carved (and finally handled and stored) before eating. Often, this is followed by drinking a tall glass of punch made from whiskey or brandy. Once the carving is over, a variety of foods are served: breads, sweets, cakes, pies, candies, even nuts, and then pumpkin pie. Sometimes, depending on the region, alcoholic beverages are served in place of these traditional foods.
The carving itself, which is done during late September/early October, is the highlight of the entire festival. People arrive early, and they come dressed as scary characters such as ghosts, witches, ghosts, monsters, and pumpkins themselves. The scene is set for some real fright with all the scary characters munching away their fill of corn, watching while people carve pumpkins in the surrounding fields. At this point, the festivities slow significantly, and are replaced by more relaxed, enjoyable activities.
Another highlight of the parade is the pumpkin maze. In the early morning, participants dressed as children approach the edge of a corn maze, and they pretend to look for something in the corn. Once they find it, they grab the corn and dash for it, running head first into the corn maze! It is not just kids who run these mazes, though: adults and older kids enjoy the challenge, as well.
Another fun tradition at the festival is the pumpkin carving. It is typically held during the evening, after dark, and involves a number of men and women, some dressed in costume, and a few horses. The farmer, who organizes the event, has a standard pumpkin shaped farm market area where visitors can buy or harvest various products. The event is also hosted by a real pumpkin, and those attending will get a chance to touch and feel the authentic pumpkin. This event can be quite messy; participants are advised to wear sunscreen.
One of the most popular things about the West Virginia pumpkin festival is the annual WV pumpkin festival in October. This two-day festival includes a “Pumpkins Carving Competition,” where different contestants try to create their own unique pumpkin sculpture. The winning pumpkin is then taken home, usually to be displayed at the farm market the following day. Food and drink are also offered at this event, and visitors can buy or attend live entertainment by the featured artists. The event also features a number of other activities that are open to the public, including hayrides, petting zoos, and more.
The fourth annual WV pumpkin patch is also held in October. Unlike the pumpkin festival, the WV pumpkin patch is open to the public and is filled with decorated pumpkins as well as other agricultural products for sale. The WV pumpkin patch has a lot of activities planned for its visitors, including wagon rides, petting zoos, hayrides, pumpkin carving competitions, and more. There is no guarantee that the event will be as exciting as the others, but it is sure to be a lot of fun for those in attendance.
All four of these festivals have one thing in common: they celebrate the season in a pumpkin-related way. Visitors will likely be delighted by the decorations, activities, and food, and many may even take particular notice of the seasonal character that is featured at each of these events. The WV pumpkin patch and the FSA pumpkin ride are two particular activities that people will want to make the very first stop on their tour of WV. For those who have never been to WV, or who are looking for a unique experience, you can’t go wrong taking part in these and other farmer’s festivals.