It’s a really gourd time

Published 10:22 am Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Livia Deskins, 1, and Candence Deskins, 5, dance during Boykins Pumpkin Fest Saturday. -- MITZI LUSK | TIDEWATER NEWS

BOYKINS—Mike McManus has been sweeping the floor of his business since some 3,000 people attended the first Boykins Pumpkin Fest on Saturday.

“It was worth every blister I’m going to have on my hands,” said the owner of Boykins Beans and Ice Cream.

McManus sold 1,408 scoops of ice cream, 32 pizzas, 200 hamburgers and 184 hot dogs.

“The line was out the door and around the corner,” he said. “We ran out of almost everything. We had a record day for sales by noon.”

Debbie Baugham, owner of Storybook Antiques, also broke a sales record. Baugham had at least 300 visitors after she opened two hours early.

“It started slow, but it wasn’t long and it was jam-packed,” she said. “I think I had a record day. I was very pleased.”

Baugham’s shop sold out of pumpkin bread mix, sweet potato biscuits made by Jane Gibson, pecans and glass-bottle soft drinks.

“I think they enjoyed using the old-fashioned bottle opener on the counter more than they did drinking the drinks,” Baugham said.

Visitors also supported the festival’s street vendors and concessions.

McManus said the concession stand operated by Boykins Main Street Initiative sold out of hot dogs during the event. The stand sold 186 hamburgers and 300 hot dogs.

“We had to run and get a bunch more from Dollar General,” he said.

The festival was meant to attract people who hadn’t been to Boykins, said Mike McGuire, president of Boykins Main Street Initiative.

“We wanted to introduce our community to people outside of it,” McGuire said.

He hopes the success of the event can translate long-term for the downtown businesses.

Mayor Spier Edwards credited the success to the Pumpkin Fest Committee.

“I’ve never seen so many people in Boykins at one time,” Edwards said. “It’s just phenomenal, and it was well organized.”

McGuire thinks there’s no doubt the event will be held next year.

“We’d be crazy not to,” he said. “I think we can only do better next year.”