The 21st annual Harvest Pumpkin Festival in Armstrong is upon us, and with it, the infamous Great Pumpkin Launch and Valley First Giant Pumpkin Weigh-in at the fairgrounds.
Orange-thumbed pumpkin growers throughout the community have been nurturing their seeds since they were planted in the spring.
Last year, Lloyd Main and his wife Erma took the gold and silver spots in the adult category with their combined 1,967-pounds of pumpkin goodness.
Entries for the weigh-in contest will be accepted from 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, and the winner will be announced at noon. The adult category winner receives a $500 prize.
“We are hopeful to inspire more youngsters to participate in this Harvest Festival tradition,” Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce president Sean Newton said.
“Last year, we gave out giant pumpkin seeds in hopes of sprouting some interest in the youth category. We are eager to welcome anyone that comes out to gawk at these friendly giant pumpkins.”
While there’s no word yet on if any youngsters have tried their hand at growing the gourds, they will be given an opportunity to take aim with the pumpkin catapult.
“This year we are changing things up. There will be a demo but no competition,” chamber executive director Patti Noonan said. “Past winner Bruce Turnbull built a youth category trebuchet which will be available for kids to try out during the event.”
The four-day festival is the community’s biggest celebration since COVID-19 began, Newton said.
It also features classic family-favourites throughout the Thanksgiving long weekend such as the Scarecrows on the Street contest, artisan demonstrations, wagon rides with Horse Drawn Okanagan and this year the addition of the Kinshira Performance Troupe’s Vintage Circus Show, Selkirk Mountain Music and Turtle Valley Band.
New this year, too, self-guided tours of the North Okanagan Spallumcheen Barn Quilt Tour and the Great Pumpkin Run hosted by Swanson Mountain Fitness and 24HR Fitness.
“We are excited for everyone to come together and celebrate the harvest season the Armstrong Spallumcheen way,” Newton explained. “We have so much to be thankful for this year.”
For a complete list of activities including a schedule of events, go to the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce website or on Facebook at @ASHarvestPumpkinFestival. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-546-8155.
COVID-19 protocols will be in place.