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Glowing Jack O'Lanterns to Highlight Saturday's Pumpkin Fest

Pumpkin Fest happens on Saturday afternoon and evening in Hamilton for the fifth straight year, culminating with lit Jack O'Lanterns surrounding Weaver Pond and a bon fire at Patton Park.

Hundreds of pumpkins will arrive in Hamilton on Saturday for the fifth annual .

The fall tradition at the and has quickly grown to be one of the .

The family-friendly event will feature a wide range of activities running all afternoon, from Jack O’ Lantern carving and hayrides. Plus there will be apple cider-making demonstrations, face painting, children's games, craft sales and other vendors.

Plus, new this year will be karate demonstrations and African drummer Mamadou, plus (in its temporary location at the rear of the old Hamilton library) giving out candy bags.

The start time – 12:30 p.m. - was moved a half hour earlier to jive with the conclusion of the at the .

“We moved it up a half hour so when the concert ends at the Community House they can come right over,” said Ann Marie Cullen, the chief dispatcher at the Hamilton-Wenham Emergency Center who leads a committee of eight people that puts together the event.

The highlight will be the 250 pumpkins kids will decorate on Saturday afternoon before being moved to Patton Park at dusk to be all lit together.

The pumpkins begin to be moved across Bay Road (Route 1A) at about 6 p.m. and will surround Weaver Pond in the park and be lit. The bonfire is scheduled to happen at 6:45 p.m.

“It takes a little time to get every one of the pumpkins over there,” Cullen said on Tuesday as the final details were being finalized for the event.

The pumpkins are all purchased by the Hamilton-Wenham Recreation Department and are free for kids. Kids are invited to bring any carving tools that they would like to use and wear clothes that are OK to get messy.

Next door at , the begins at 2 p.m. in the cafeteria. Last year it expanded the format from the "Idol Contest,” which had encouraged mostly singing, to a broader talent show.

The vendors will be set up outside the public safety building from 12:30-4 p.m. The pet costume contest happens at 2:30 p.m. and the children’s costume parade, which forms at the old library and moves downtown, starts at 3 p.m. There will also be a disc jockey entertaining the crowd at the public safety building.

Many local businesses and non-profit groups  - including the Community House of Hamilton and Wenham, , and - are sponsoring the activities.

The put on by the begins at 4 p.m. and goes “until all the meatballs are gone.”

A full event schedule and map are attached to this story as a PDF.

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