Pumpkin fest: A gourd time for family fun

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Justin Poland, 3, receives assistance from his father Stuart Poland while decorating a pumpkin on Saturday at the 47th annual National Pumpkin Festival in Spring Hope.


Staff Writer

Monday, October 8, 2018

SPRING HOPE — Good weather and lots of family activities gave attendees of an annual festival pumpkin to talk about.

From drizzle to downpour, it's rained during the last four or five Spring Hope National Pumpkin Festivals.

This time around, it was a light shower on Friday afternoon and a little mist Saturday — nowhere near enough precipitation to slow down the persistent rain-or-shine event.

Founded in 1971 by community leader Ralph Bass and farmer Elmo Tant, the event was envisioned as a way to promoted local business and celebrate the harvest.

This year, huge crowds flocked to the small southern Nash County town for the 47th annual celebration of all thing pumpkin, which was extended back to its usual two-day event after being condensed into a Saturday-only affair in 2017.

The rain was gone on Friday night by the time the masters of beach music, Chairmen of the Board, took to the stage.

"I think the rain cooled off everything," said Julie Johnson who brought her two daughters to the festival.

The three were eating funnel cake and deep fried Oreo's while waiting for the Saturday afternoon parade, the highlight of the annual event.

Also available from food vendors was snow cones, Italian sausages, ribs and several lemonade mixes.

Marley Gray Winstead, 16, said she was honored to be Miss Pumpkin Queen 2018. She was presented to attendees on Saturday before riding in the parade.

A late entry into the event, a classic car show, appeared to be popular with participants.

Organizers said the event went well with a large crowd attending.