This year’s Pumpkin Fest will go ahead on Saturday as it has for five straight years, but it will be without the evening Jack O’Lantern display around Weaver Pond at Patton Park.
The outdoor evening events after 5 p.m., which also typically includes a bonfire, have been cancelled because of the organized activity ban from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. because of the threat of mosquito-borne illnesses, including Eastern equine encephalitis and West Nile Virus.
“The sad part is that we can’t have pumpkins in the park – all because of the mosquitoes,” said the event’s co-organizer, Ann Marie Cullen on Wednesday. She puts together the event with Lori Johnson.
Many of the traditional parts of the event will still happen: Hayrides, games by the Gordon-Conwell Nursery School, a pet costume parade, kids costume parade, a karate demonstration and facepainting.
And pumpkins will still be available to each child at no charge to carve.
“This year they will just have to take them home,” Cullen said.
Typically, the carved pumpkins are taken across Bay Road to Patton Park, lined up around Weaver Pond and lit after sundown. A bon fire in the park is also part of the event.
“That’s part of what we will miss this year,” Cullen said.
The fire trucks will also be pulled out of the station and available for children to take a look.
Most of the activities will run 12:30-3 p.m. A map of the event and a complete schedule is attached to this story as a PDF.
The pet costume contest starts at 2:30 p.m. and the children’s costume parade starts at 3 p.m. at the public safety building before making its way downtown to Railroad Avenue and the Shoppes at Hamilton Crossing for Tick-or-Treating. Acord Food Panty will give out Trick-or-Treat bags to each child.
The day wraps up with a spaghetti dinner hosted by the Hamilton Fire Department that starts at 4 p.m. and will be inside the fire station.