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On the Bright Side

September 23, 2013

Giant gourds draw crowds at PumpkinFest

To get to the royal ball, Cinderella needed a fairy godmother to turn her pumpkin into a carriage. At the 10th annual “PumpkinFest” in Cooperstown, there were no fairy godmothers in attendance, but hard work and dedication resulted in pumpkins so enormous that a whole gang of Prince Charmings could have hitched a ride inside them.

PumpkinFest kicked off Saturday morning in the parking lot of Doubleday Field. People of all ages gathered for food, fun activities and the main event, the pumpkin weigh-off. 

Spectators and hay bales surrounded the huge orange and green pumpkins in the center of the parking lot, as one by one, each pumpkin was carefully lifted by skid steer over to the electronic scale and weighed. Excited onlookers had their picture taken next to the giants and children gawked at the pumpkins’ size in comparison to their own height. While the pumpkins were lifted and transported, trivia from the classic 1966 movie, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” was answered with excited shouts by children and loyal older fans.

The event drew spectators from as far away as Canada, Ohio, and Massachusetts. When the emcees of the event asked one enthusiastic young woman from Williamstown, Mass., why she had come all that way, she answered simply, “I just love pumpkins!”

Various food and craft vendors were set up around the parking lot selling kettle corn, lemonade, crafts and more. Tents with children’s games and activities, like frisbee- and pumpkin decorating, were popular. The Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce, which puts on the annual event, held a raffle with various baseball memorabilia prizes, including a family membership to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

But the big prize of the day would go to the owner of the pumpkin with the highest weight, which apparently depends more on the inside of the pumpkin, or flesh, than on the circumference of the pumpkin. 

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