By Nicole Lemal
Times West Virginian
A crowd of people watched last year in Fairview, as firefighters dropped pumpkins that were encapsulated in containers from a fire truck ladder more than 60 feet in the air.
Many participated in teams of two, and points were awarded based on the survival of the pumpkin and its accuracy in hitting the set target.
It was a way to jump start the fall season in the town’s first Pumpkin Festival, which was a hit in the local community and beyond. More than 1,000 people visited the festival last year.
“We’ve got people calling from out of state, getting directions to our festival,” director Kurtis Helgeson said.
Because it was so successful, the committee is excited to announce it is now holding its second annual Fairview Pumpkin Festival.
Set for Saturday, Oct. 13, the festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Fairview Town Park.
Relying on their own efforts, the committee doesn’t ask for many donations. Aside from the food and vendors, admission to the festival is free. Committee members are, however, requesting that visitors donate a nonperishable item that will be given to the Fairview Food Bank instead. Profits will go back to the schools, the fire department, the police department, local churches, the Fairview Food Bank and whoever else demonstrates a need in Fairview.
“We think it’s special this year because last year we had a lot of money tied up in getting things we needed, but what’s so special about this year is everything is going back to the community,” Helgeson said.
Starting a festival during the fall was special for Helgeson and his staff, who recognized a need in the community for another festival. Aside from this festival, Fairview also has a Fourth of July Celebration and an Easter Festival with an Easter egg hunt.
Without much monetary donations, they were able to pull together a number of food vendors at the request of those who attended last year. Food vendors will be Heavenly Hoagies, Bubbas, Mountain Shaved Ice, Pyles of Cotton and Jamie’s Hot Dogs. Breakfast consisting of buckwheat pancakes and sausages will also be served at the Fairview Senior Center by Bakers Dozen from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
In addition to the food vendors and breakfast, the Fairview Lions Club will be having a sausage and gravy dinner at 4 p.m.
A number of crafters have committed to being at the festival. Vendors will be at three separate locations to accommodate the increase: the Fire Department bay, the second floor of the Fairview Town Hall and the Fairview Elementary cafeteria.
Fun activities such as the pumpkin drop are a speciality at the Fairview Pumpkin Festival, along with games for the children such as face painting and balloon art. Registration for the pumpkin drop is due by Saturday, Oct. 6, with the $5 entry fee per pumpkin sent to Fairview Cares, c/o Backwoods Flowers, P.O. Box 165, Fairview, WV 26570.
Oh, and was pumpkin bowling mentioned?
Yes, it’s just like it sounds. Pumpkins are used in place of bowling balls, and the pins were donated by a local bowling center. Whoever has the best score wins a golden pumpkin.
“That’s their trophy,” Helgeson said. “A lot of the adults and children had fun with that last year. So, we brought it back again this year.”
Also at the Fairview Town Park, the Car, Truck and Motorcycle Cruise-In will charge $5 for admission. Dash plaques will be given to the first 50 cars. Almost a Song from Marion County and Made in America from Waynesburg, Pa., will be the live entertainment. Together, Made from American band founders Robyn and Allen have more than 30 years of experience in the music industry.
But if you’re competitive, the festival has more to offer. Pageants for all age categories will be there, including Miss Pumpkin Festival Pageant, Junior Pumpkin Festival Pageant, Teen Pumpkin Festival Pageant and a Baby Photogenic Contest.
Scarecrows and pumpkins will be there for anyone who wants to participate in a decorating contest, and those who like to bake may want to test their skills in the Pie Bake Off contest.
Most importantly, Helgeson wants everyone to just enjoy the town, enjoy the festivities and enjoy the company of fellow residents and those who are guaranteed to make the drive to enjoy what looks to be another successful year. He is hoping to see a scene similar to last year, where each activity, including the pumpkin drop, attracted a crowd.
“We want everybody to come out and have a good time and come to beautiful Fairview,” Helgeson said.
For more information, visit fairviewpumpkinfest.wix.com/fairviewpumpkinfest or look them up on Facebook at Fairview Pumpkin Festival.
Email Nicole Lemal at email@example.com.