Boykins PumpkinFest Saturday

Published 8:49 am Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Brooklynn Drake, from left, Cadence Belcher and Mackenzie Beauvais show off beaded jewelry they made during the Boykins PumpkinFest in 2011. The second annual event will be held 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20. SUBMITTED


BOYKINS—The success of the inaugural PumpkinFest in Boykins in 2011 has resulted in a second annual event from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20.

The fall celebration got its start through a group effort.

“It was a collective idea from the Boykins Main Street Initiative,” said Eric Coard, last year’s chairman.

The goal was to bring commerce back to small-town Main Street.

“It (the festival) was just one idea bandied about and we decided to go for it,” said Coard.

Denise Byrum, a member of the Main Street Initiative, is this year’s festival chairwoman.

Some 2,500 to 3,000 attended last year’s PumpkinFest.

“It was a very big surprise,” Coard said. “The weather was cooperative. It was a good day. We’re really pushing it this year, and we really expect to see the same or better.”

“I’ve love to see more (visitors),” Byrum said.

The organizers have learned from last year. One of the complaints was that no pumpkins were for sale. This time, Blair Bunn provide them.

Another new attraction is an antique car show.

“The thinking is that it’s going to bring in a different crowd,” said Coard.

WLQM-FM will broadcast live from 10 a.m. to noon.

A bake-off will start at 10 a.m. with judging at 11.

Cumberland Mill Works has built six pumpkin-oriented games, including a bowling alley.

“There’s lots of free stuff for people to do and contests to enter,” said Byrum.

They include games, free face painting, pumpkin weight and bake-off contests, petting zoo, pony rides, free hayrides, cake-walks, four inflatables, an extra stage at Cumberland Mill works for live performances from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the fire safety house and a visit from Smokey the Bear from 11 a.m. to noon. All the shops will be open, and the Whittington Station will make T-shirts.

CSX and VA-NC railroads will provide cash prizes for the talent show at 4 p.m.

“There’ll be lots more food and craft vendors, as well as downtown merchants,” said Coard.

The pumpkin festival will take place no matter the weather. Forecasters are calling for a high of 69 with a zero percent chance of rain.

“I expect to have a fabulous day,” Byrum said.

For more information, she can be reached at 350-5746 or visit

Click here for a link to the Boykins PumpkinFest promotional video.