A festival of pumpkins

  • Bryce Copley, 5, grinned almost the entire time as he was getting a tiger painted on his face; that in itself was awesome. Bryce is the son of Elizabeth Scheland and Brian Copley.
  • Children pick out treats and toys at vendors at the Pumpkin Festival.
  • Presenting (in your best circus announcer voice) ... 9-year-old Emily Brogdon and her boxer/pit mix, Addison. Her dog, “Addy,” was dressed up as a circus lion and won first place in the pet contest earlier in the day. As a ring master with her lion at her side, Emily won first place in the 7-9 age group costume contest. She was all smiles and said, “That was so cool.”
  • Tanika Davis, center, hugs on her kids as they show off the cookies they just iced and sprinkled. Ja’niah Jackson, 10, is on her left and loved the animals most at Pumpkin Festival. Jeremiah Jackson, 11, is on her right and enjoyed the costume contests and decorating cookies.
  • Gavin Soer, 6, makes (by the expression on his face) what appears to be one terrific move against his mom, Katie Soer, in a literal game of pumpkin tic-tac-toe.
  • Cupcakes really do serve a purpose.
  • Jacksonville Main Street Executive Director Judy Tighe waves goodbye with the Pumpkin Festival flag as clean-up of the event progresses.
  • Four-year-old Kendall Traeger is all sorts of not four years old with that glorious sass. Her costume is full of shine and sparkle.
  • Nameless pumpkins await their artistic owners to return and claim them. Well, except George ... George is named.
  • A group of contestants in a costume contest wait before the big decision.
  • Meet Presley, the lobster. He won second place in the pet costume contest and his owner/mom, Amanda Kluge, joked, “He was all about his Beggin’ Strips.”
  • Jessica Stambaugh, center, stands with her 4-year-old son Nico, left, and 7-year-old son Tyson, right. The boys said the pumpkin drop was their favorite part of the day.

by Kyla Hurt
Photos by Kyla Hurt

‘Twas a spooky, gooey, festive and enchanted day on the square in downtown Jacksonville. The annual Pumpkin Festival was full of families and friends enjoying the brisk, yet not too brisk Saturday. Put on by Jacksonville Main Street and assisted by a group of terrific volunteers, the fest featured a slew of events on its schedule with $10 covering all the day’s activities.

Children enjoyed an Apple Orchard & Pumpkin Patch, “A Zoo For You” Pony Rides & Petting Zoo, pet and kids’ costume contests, the Blazing Wing Challenge, the Fire Safety House, Pie Eating Contests, Pumpkin Drops and more. Food vendors were available as well as crafts and vendors otherwise. The downtown square was filled with people, often frequenting the local businesses, too.

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