Festival delivers pumpkin patch experience

Published 6:07 pm Monday, December 4, 2023

The 2023 Boykins Pumpkin Fest proved to be a significant success this fall with a characteristically strong crowd that enjoyed the entertainment stage, the mini pumpkin patch, the Pie in the Face fundraiser and the kids zone, all amid a day of agreeable weather.

“Overall we were thrilled with Pumpkin Fest’s turnout this year,” said Boykins Town Clerk Victoria Edwards, who was one of the Oct. 21 event’s organizers. “The forecasted rain did not show, and we had a beautiful day with a steady crowd all day.”

She noted that the Pumpkin Fest’s average attendance has been around 1,000 people, and that did not change this year.

“Vendor attendance, however, was lacking this year, and this is something the planning committee is looking into,” she said. “We pride ourselves on being very accommodating to our vendors. Our goal is to appeal to more local vendors so that we can support our neighbors and friends while providing festivalgoers a variety to shop from. Thankfully, election candidates were interested in participating in the festival, and their booths filled in the gaps created from a lack of vendor attendance this year.” 

The Pumpkin Fest also featured cake walks, contests, games, a petting zoo, the Pie in the Face fundraiser, a hayride, a scavenger hunt, music, a 50/50 raffle and also the mini pumpkin patch.

“Our most popular features this year besides our entertainment stage was our mini pumpkin patch and our kids zone with several inflatables from 3A’s Inflatables for the kids to enjoy,” Edwards said. 

“Our mini pumpkin patch is set up to be a miniature version of a pumpkin patch experience,” she said. “We have a grassy area filled with a variety of pumpkins that children or adults can peruse and shop from or take pictures. We included a hands-on petting zoo where children could go inside the fenced area and sit with the animals or feed them. There were pumpkin-themed games included in our mini pumpkin patch as well.”

She said that for the town citizens in attendance, the Pie in the Face fundraiser was the highlight of the day. 

“Town Sgt. George Brozzo, myself and Mayor (Jackie) Robertson were nominated to be the lucky individuals to get a pie in the face,” Edwards said. “We then sold tickets to vote for who would be the lucky winner to earn the pie in the face.”

She explained that these tickets doubled as a raffle ticket for being the one to throw the pie. 

“It became quite competitive leading up to the big moment, with the race ending in a tie between myself and Sgt. Brozzo,” she said.

She noted that the proceeds from the fundraiser were split between the Boykins Parks & Recreation Committee, to assist with funding future events, and Brozzo’s annual charity bike ride Law Enforcement United, which brings support to law enforcement families of those fallen in the line of duty. 

This year’s Boykins Pumpkin Fest did not feature a pageant, and Edwards explained that this was due to lack of interest from the public and low volunteer numbers.

“Without volunteers Pumpkin Fest and other events are not possible,” she said. “Our Parks & Recreation Committee welcomes anyone who wants to participate, even if you’re interested in one specific event or program the committee organizes.”