Pump­kins galore in Frackville

Sym­bol of fall to be cel­e­brated in Frackville this week­end

The Republican Herald - This Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - BY ERIC PEDDIGREE COPY ED­I­TOR eped­di­gree@re­pub­li­can­her­ald.com

Frackville will be bustling with ac­tiv­ity Satur­day as the bor­ough cel­e­brates the sym­bol of the fall sea­son — pump­kins. The sixth an­nual Pump­kin Fes­ti­val will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Le­high and Frack streets. The event is spon­sored by the Frackville Business and Pro­fes­sional As­so­ci­a­tion.

Be­fore the fes­tiv­i­ties be­gin Satur­day, pump­kins will take flight at 5:30 p.m. to­day at the Schuylkill Mall for the an­nual pump­kin chunkin’ contest. The com­pe­ti­tion, which has been held the night be­fore the Pump­kin Fes­ti­val ev­ery year, has grown into a popular kick­off event for the week­end fes­tiv­i­ties.

“Ev­ery year it is grow­ing. I bet last year we had over 100 (par­tic­i­pants),” said Elaine Maneval, Schuylkill Mall man­ager and FBPA pres­i­dent. She added that con­tes­tants can reg­is­ter un­til the start of the contest.

The contest is made up of six age groups — un­der 5, 6 to 10, 11 to 16, 17 to 30, 31-54 and 55 and older — with male and fe­male cat­e­gories for each group. The par­tic­i­pants will throw a pump­kin as far as they can, with the three long­est dis­tances in each group win­ning a prize. The prizes are first place, $15 mall gift cer­tifi­cate; sec­ond place, $10 mall gift cer­tifi­cate; and third place, $5 mall gift cer­tifi­cate.

Maneval said the mall pro­vides the pump­kins for the contest. This year, the pump­kins came from Gary Hart of Hart Farms, Ring­town, and Bill’s Pro­duce, Schuylkill Haven.

In ad­di­tion to the contest, Ha­zle­ton Com­mu­nity Church is sched­uled to re­turn with its pump­kin chun­ker ma­chine. The church will have sup­plies for chil­dren to paint and dec­o­rate the pump­kins be­fore they are launched.

“The kids love to watch their pump­kins sail through the air,” Maneval said.

Satur­day’s ac­tiv­i­ties will be­gin at 9:45 a.m. with Pump­kins on Pa­rade. Chil­dren will march from the Frackville Li­brary to the fes­ti­val while show­ing off their “My Fa­vorite Pump­kin” crafts, an art project hosted by the li­brary. Prizes will be awarded for the best art­work.

The Art of the Pump­kin auc­tion will be held through­out the fes­ti­val. Hand-dec­o­rated wooden pump­kins will be on sale and also be judged Satur­day for prizes.

Pump­kin-themed lim­er­icks will also be read and judged at the fes­ti­val. Win­ners for the lim­er­ick con- test and Art of the Pump­kin will be an­nounced at 1:30 p.m.

At 10:45 a.m., penny art, spon­sored by Min­ers Bank, will be­gin. The art contest, split into two age cat­e­gories, 6 to 8 and 9 to 12, will fea­ture chil­dren mak­ing de­signs on the side­walk with pen­nies. A grand prize will be awarded in both age cat­e­gories.

“It is re­ally amaz­ing to see what de­signs chil­dren come up with with pen­nies,” Maneval said.

A pump­kin pie-eat­ing contest is sched­uled for noon. The contest is di­vided into three age groups, 9 to 11, 12 to 16 and 17 and older, with male and fe­male cat­e­gories. Prizes will be awarded in each group.

Other ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude mu­sic by JB Sound, face paint­ing, pump­kin paint­ing and pony rides.

“The pony rides are non-stop,” Maneval said. “The ponies don’t get a break.”

For more in­for­ma­tion about the pump­kin chunkin’ contest and the Pump­kin Fes­ti­val, visit the mall’s web­site at www.shop­schuylk­il­mall.com.


Is­abella Lopez, Frackville, pre­pares to throw her pump­kin dur­ing last year’s Pump­kin Chunkin’ contest. This year’s contest, which kicks off the an­nual Pump­kin Fes­ti­val, will be held at 5:30 p.m. to­day at Schuylkill Mall. The fes­ti­val will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Satur­day in Frackville.

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