Pumpkin Fest this weekend

Love to carve pumpkins? Proud of your work? It’s Pumpkin Fest time in Lovell.

The Lovell Area Chamber of Commerce has joined forces with downtown merchants to sponsor the third Pumpkin Fest, which organizers hope will provide color and fun to downtown Lovell during the Halloween weekend.

The event is simple. People, organizations and businesses are asked to carve jack-o-lanterns and drop them off at the Chamber office (287 E. Main) this Friday afternoon, Oct. 28, during the downtown trick-or-treat event from 2 to 5 p.m. or any time during the day before that.

Persons presenting pumpkins for the festival will receive one entry for a $25 gift certificate drawing for every pumpkin they drop off. The pumpkins will then be placed along Main Street and lit at dusk on Friday night and again Saturday night. People are invited to bring their family down for a look.

People contributing pumpkins do not need to worry about providing a light. The Hen House is providing Glow Sticks to illuminate the jack-o-lanterns – 125 of the sticks each night.

The event will conclude with a free dance Saturday night, Oct. 29, at the Lovell Recreation Building — the old B&G Lumber building. The dance is sponsored by Bairco, the Lovell Building Center and The Hen House. Music will be provided by the Cowley Boys.

Chamber of Commerce president Sue Taylor said the beauty of the festival is that people can “lend” pumpkins to the festival for two nights, then pick their pumpkin up on Sunday for display at their home. She said the dance is an evening of family fun.

Taylor said the event was started two years ago by John Lafko of The Hen House, hoping to pattern it after a festival in Keene, N.H., which started with 600 pumpkins in 1991 and displayed nearly 23,000 in 2010 after nearly 30,000 in 2009.

In Lovell’s case, the pumpkins will be displayed on two blocks of Main Street at storefronts and in the downtown parks – the veterans memorial park, the park next to Lovell Drug and the downtown mural park.

The festival featured pumpkins and scarecrows two years ago, and there was an effort to expand the festival last year, but a lack of participation has sent the festival in the direction of seeking promotional assistance and broader participation through the chamber of commerce.

Chamber board members are contacting the Bulldog Booster Club asking the club to use a pumpkin theme as they wish teams good luck as they head to state volleyball and host a first-round football playoff game. The New Horizons Care Center is also participating in the festival.

Taylor said the chamber hopes to expand the festival beyond the two downtown blocks in the future, and she said there may be a two-story Halloween cat displayed in the Lovell Building Center parking lot.

By David Peck