Spalding’s annual harvest celebration, the Pumpkin Festival, was a big hit once again on Friday, with around ten thousand people gathering in the town centre to celebrate the occasion.
The festival saw the centre of Spalding become a celebration of horticulture and autumn throughout the day, with market stalls from local charities and producers, food stands and various activities including face painting, arts and crafts activities, pumpkin carving and street entertainment from stilt walkers and unicyclists.
In the evening the annual fancy dress competition was judged and there was live entertainment from bands and theatre groups, culminating in the ever-popular Pumpkin Parade around the town and a spectacular grand finale firework display.
The annual festivity was taking place for the 17th year running and is organised by South Holland District Council’s Community Development Team. It is sponsored by David Bowman Pumpkins Ltd and supported by the Rotary Club of Spalding and Welland, Rotary Club of South Holland and Spalding Lions.
Local schools and groups were encouraged to take part in the build-up and festival itself. Mr Bowman, who is Europe’s largest producer of pumpkins, donated thousands of the fruit to schools, which pupils were then able to carve and decorate before bringing their creations along to the event.
South Holland District Council portfolio holder for Communities and Facilities, Cllr Gary Taylor judged the window dressing contest for shops and businesses in the town, picking Flowers N Things in Red Lion Street as the winners.
The ever-popular fancy dress competition, organised by Spalding Lions, saw lucky winner Isobel Wilkins given the opportunity to lead the Pumpkin Parade in the Rotary’s pumpkin carriage.
The Parade was a spectacular event, with the carriage followed by three glow drummers, members of the public and Sam’s Stars Dance Troupe who put on a brilliant display for everyone taking part.
Cllr Gary Taylor said: “Once again the Pumpkin Festival provided a fantastic spectacle and experience for everyone who attended, bringing together thousands of people from across Spalding and South Holland, as well as further afield.
“The entertainment and activities were great for all ages and we’ve had some wonderful feedback already from those who came along and took part. It’s really important that we celebrate our proud association with horticulture and harvest in the district and I can’t think of a better way to do that than through the Pumpkin Festival.
“I would like to thank everyone who organised and took part in the festival and of course everybody who came along and helped to make it such a memorable occasion. I hope that we’ll see you all again next year.”