Huge crowds expected at 38th annual event Oct. 8 – Cox back in charge of Pumpkin Fest

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

PUMPKINTOWN — The community is gearing up for the 38th annual Pumpkin Festival.

This year’s festival will be held Oct. 8 in and around the Oolenoy Community Building in Pumpkintown. Festival hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

“It’s probably one of the largest one-day festivals in the state,” festival chairman Buddy Cox said.

Cox was chairman of the festival for more than 20 years before giving it up about 10 years ago, he said. This year, he was cajoled into coming back.

“I hid in the woods as long as I could,” he said with a laugh.

The theme of this year’s festival is “A place of beauty, a place of plenty and a place we love to live.”

The festival draws a huge crowd every year.

“We’ll probably have 35,000 people visit the festival,” Cox said.

9-28 Page 7A (Revised).inddIt’s also one of the largest arts and crafts shows in the state, Cox said. This year’s fest is set to be a shopper’s paradise, with 150 arts and crafts booths.

Each year, the festival kicks off with a community parade. The parade is set to begin at 9 a.m. Participants will line up on Wilma Lane, next to the Pumpkintown Fire Department, then travel down Pumpkintown Highway (Highway 8) to Highway 135, past the Oolenoy Community Building.

Coffee, cold drinks, biscuits and pumpkin pie will be for sale inside the Oolenoy building beginning at 6 a.m.

This year’s festival features a wide variety of entertainment.

“We have six different bluegrass groups lined up this year,” Cox said.

After the parade, Dogwood Hill Bluegrass will take the stage at 9:30 a.m. They’ll be followed by Rowdy Mountain Boys at 10:30 a.m.

At 11:15 a.m., talented young musicians from the area will strut their stuff as the Sweet Potato Pie Kids, the performing group of the Young Appalachians Musicians program, take the stage.

At 11:45 a.m., the Hot Foot Cloggers will take the stage for the first of their two shows. They’ll perform again at 2:15 p.m.

Tugalo Holler will take the stage at 12:15 p.m. They’ll be followed by Last Road at 1:15 p.m.

Following the Hot Foot Cloggers’ second show, Cane Creek will perform at 2:45 p.m.

The annual greased pole climb is scheduled for 3:45 p.m.

Backline will close out the day’s entertainment at 4 p.m.

Visitors can bring chairs or blankets to sit on during the entertainment, Cox said.

There will also be plenty of amusement rides and activities for the kids.

Cox also said those headed to the Pumpkin Festival should bring an appetite. Once again, barbecued chicken plates will be for sale at the festival, beginning at noon.

In addition to the barbecued chicken lunch plates, there will be hamburgers, hot dogs, funnel cakes, sausage dogs from the Knights of Columbus and much, much more.

“You name it, we’ve pretty well got it on the grounds,” Cox said.

Each year, the festival raffles off a Pumpkintown-themed quilt made by local quilters.

The drawing for the 2016 Pumpkin Quilt will be held at 4 p.m. the day of the festival. You do not have to be present to win. Tickets are $1.

If you would like to purchase raffle tickets prior to the festival, Cox said, send your name, address, phone number and the amount of tickets you’d like to purchase, along with a check for that amount, along with a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Pumpkintown Community Club, ATTN: Raffle, P.O. Box 221, Pickens, SC 29671. Your tickets will be mailed to you, and you’ll be notified if you’re the lucky winner.

The festival is sponsored by the Pumpkintown Community Club.