PUMPKINTOWN — It was a smashing good time at the annual Pumpkin Festival on Saturday as upwards of 35,000 people poured into the tiny Pumpkintown community to ring in the Fall.
Festival Chairman Buddy Cox had said in a previous interview with The Sentinel-Progress the 2016 festival had the largest turnout to date.
Judging by the size of the crowds at the Oolenoy Community Building, 2017 might be yet another one for the record books.
“I’ve never seen this many people and I come every year,” said Allen Beauchamp. “The rainy weather held off and it’s looking like it’s shaping up to be a pretty nice day.”
Beauchamp said his favorite thing about the festival was the food.
“Now my wife, she comes for all the arts and crafts and stuff,” he said. “But I like to grab me a plate of bar-be-cue, stake out a nice spot on the lawn and listen to the music while she goes and spends all our money.
“And when this plate’s gone, I’m probably going to go hit up that tent over there for some pie,” Beauchamp said laughing.
Besides the crafts and the food, the Pumpkin Festival also had plenty of music, dancing and a whole section for kids set up in the back field with different amusement park rides.
“The trick is, you have to buy the (ride pass) bracelet,” said Cindy Sawyers from Greenville. “I started out buying the tickets and the kids blew through them in about two minutes. Trust me: buy the bracelet.”
Sawyers said she had only been to the festival once before, but was thinking it should become a yearly tradition for her and her family.
“Some friends of mine talked us into going with them last year and we had so much fun we decided to do it again this year,” she said. “They called me and said they weren’t going to make it, they were going to be out of town but I was like, ‘Well, we’re going to go anyway.’ So here we are.”
The festival stands out from others in the area with it’s wooded location and variety of vendors, she said.
“It’s nice because in South Carolina — even though it’s October — it’s still probably going to be hot,” Sawyers said. “Here you’ve got all these trees and shade and a little creek, it helps you stay nice and cool. When you go to some of the other festivals around the area they block off Main Street or something for people to set up their tents. I not putting them down, but this just has a nice country feel to it. It feels like Fall.
“We’ll be back for sure next year,” she said.