Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Pumpkin Show! (with pictures)

In case you're not familiar with this phenomenon (though I imagine most people are), in certain parts of the country, every town has some seasonal festival related to some local agricultural product. So you have the Tomato Festival or the Pork Festival or the Dandelion Festival or whatever. I have a feeling that after a while they became pretty arbitrary:

Small town Mayor, circa 1890: We need a festival!
Advisor: Really? What for?
Mayor: Look, Shadyfield makes a mint every year with that blasted Rutabaga Festival. We need something.
Advisor: But we don't grow anything here.
Mayor: Sure we do. Don't we? There must be something out there!
Advisor: Even if there is, all the good stuff's already taken. I mean, we don't even have rutabagas to choose from any more!
Mayor: I pay you to think, don't I?! Listen, get me a festival by October or you're done for!
[time passes]
Mayor: Ladies and Gentleman, boys and girls! Clap your hands and stomp your feet, for it is my great honor and privilege to crown Dirkersville's first ever Miss Head Louse!

But I digress...

Here, we've got the Pumpkin Festival. Lori and Amelia couldn't attend, but e5 and I wandered over for a bit of fun. We arrived early and managed to park for free on the edge of town (just a couple blocks from the action). Not paying for parking doubled our meager budget, which we spent entirely on ride tickets. Since it was early in the day, and most of the early crowd have all-day passes, most of the ride operators weren't even taking tickets, so we got quite a few rides in without depleting our ticket supply.

Then in a bit of karmic justice, I lost half of our tickets - probably while fishing the camera out of my pocket. With only two remaining, I told e5 he could ride one last ride, but it'd have to be by himself because I'd lost the rest of the tickets. He was mad that we had to leave soon, so he started arguing and stalling about which ride and whether he wanted to ride alone or not. We were in line for the Ferris Wheel when I discovered the ticket problem, and the kind people in front of us, on hearing our discussion, insisted on giving us an extra pair of tickets so we could ride together.

After we got off, I realized that once again, the operator had never asked for our tickets. The nice people ahead of us were long gone. So we sold the remaining tickets to somebody else and bought french fries and ice cream. A short walk back to the car, a quick dart across traffic, and we were all smiles driving past the 1.5 mile backup of incoming hordes. Good fun.

But before I get on with the pictures already, here is a list of the pumpkin-related products available at the festival:
- Pumpkin waffles
- Pumpkin pizza
- Pumpkin cream puffs
- Pumpkin bread
- Pumpkin-chip cookies
- Pumpkin blossoms
- Pumpkin burgers
- Pumpkin ice cream
- Pumpkin pie (of course)
- Pumpkin chili
- Pumpkin butter
- Pumpkin seeds
- Pumpkin pancakes
- Pumpkin cake
- Pumpkin elephant ears
- Pumpkin cheesecake
- Pumpkin brownies
- Pumpkin buckeyes
- Pumpkin butter creams
- Pumpkin taffy
- Pumpkin fudge
- Pumpkin brittle

Okay, okay, some photos...

Who could resist a pumpkin burger?

...or a pumpkin waffle, for that matter?

The main drag, from the top of the Ferris Wheel.
(It extended a couple of blocks in either direction)

E5, flying through town

E5, contemplating the world from above.

If you ever need a 1542.5 lb pumpkin,
this is the place to be:
(Note the giant tower o' pumpkins in the background.)



At 10/24/2007 9:13 AM, Blogger maggie said...

Are those real pumpkins!!! That is incredible. Are the pumpkin burgers made with ground beef or just pumpkins, even as a vegetarian they sound a bit hard to stomach. I am a fan of the squash however and I miss the fall festivals from up north. I came from a hole in the wall Canton PA. Our festival was the apple and cheese!!!!

At 10/24/2007 9:29 AM, Blogger e4 said...

Oh yeah, they're real. They need forklifts and flatbed trailers to get them there. They usually sell seeds from the biggest ones after the festival is over... I'm not sure about the pumpkin burgers though. I wasn't brave enough to try one.

At 10/24/2007 5:57 PM, Blogger JBTW said...

That's a lot of pumpkin!
E5 looks like he enjoyed his flight!!! :) Glad you two had a good time.
So if you didn't try a pumpkin burger (I'd be a bit reluctant too), what did you try? Pumpkin ravioli sounds good to me, did they have any of that?

At 10/24/2007 6:41 PM, Blogger Chile said...

Oh dang, I wanted to know about the pumpkin burgers too. You didn't have something on the list that I make during the holidays: pumpkin nog. The pumpkin gives a nice color, taste, and texture to vegan "eggnog".

At 10/24/2007 7:08 PM, Blogger Wendy said...

Wow! I think I saw those monster pumpkins on the news :). Looks like a blast!

Ironically, I made pumpkin pancakes tonight for our Dark Days of Winter eat local challenge ;).

I was hoping you'd tried the pumpkin burgers and could give us the low-down ;). Next time, eh?

At 10/24/2007 8:13 PM, Blogger barefoot gardener said...

I think the pumkin waffles sound kinda good...

I was very curious about the pumpkin burgers, too. Just might have to google that.

Glad to see you and e5 had a good time.

At 10/24/2007 9:12 PM, Blogger maggie said...

We get an applefest in these parts (and one for the white squirrels of Brevard - although they're not for eating...). Pumpkins seem much more festive!
I'll be making some pumpkin whoopie pies this weekend. mmm.

At 11/23/2007 1:31 PM, Blogger Lucy said...

Some day I will attend the C'ville pumpkin festival.

I worked out there 16 or so years ago doing contract archeology nearby in the middle of nowhere. We were there the wrong season for pumpkins but there was lots of notice about the fest even in April.

My town has the world's largest pork festival.

At 11/23/2007 4:12 PM, Blogger e4 said...

Lucy - I've been to that festival! I was in Jr. High and my step brother was in the Purdue marching band. They performed in the parade. It was great fun...


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