Pumpkins galore in Frackville
Symbol of fall to be celebrated in Frackville this weekend
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.