By Rori Bennett – Junior Reporter
The fifth annual Wallaceburg Kinsmen Pumpkinfest has record numbers this past Saturday, September 21.
The event took place at the Wallaceburg Kinsmen Community Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The sun was shining and the temperatures reached close to 30°C as hundreds of Wallaceburg residents and visitors alike flocked to the venue on Dufferin Avenue in Wallaceburg.
“I thinks it’s important to give back to your community because your community is like an extension of your family,” said Mandy English, a Grade 10 student at UCC, who volunteered at Pumpkinfest.
“You grow up there, you become who you are because of your community and the people in it. When you give back to it you give other people that same chance to grow and find themselves.”
Pumpkinfest kicked off with a pancake breakfast, followed by a full day of activities, featuring a kid’s zone with face painting, pumpkin decorating, and inflatables.
“I chose to volunteer at Pumpkinfest because it’s such an underrated fun event,” English added.
“It doesn’t get as much love as it deserves. The more help they have the more people they can attract. The people have fun and I would really love to see this town event grow.”
Pumpkinfest also featured a giant vegetable competition, pumpkin pie eating contest, craft and vendor show, a silent auction with proceeds going to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, as well as a barbecue.
“The reason we’ve done this for the last five years, is to give the community of Wallaceburg a free event,” Steve Tamblyn, event coordinator and Wallaceburg Kinsmen member, told the Sydenham Current.
“Everything to do, between the bouncy houses and petting zoo, pony rides, face painting, the decorating of pumpkins, balloon animals even free popcorn, everything we try to do for the community is free. This way, everyone can go as a family, and it won’t cost them anything. This is why the Kinsmen decided to organize this event.”
Tamblyn said this year approximately 1,800 people came to the event, “which is drastically up from last year, and every other year.
“Last year, we had under 1,000. Every year, as we make it bigger, the event seems to grow that much more. The one thing that I can say though, is that we couldn’t do this event without Chatham-Kent,” Tamblyn said, adding that the Municiplaity donated a good portion of their budget.
“Without Chatham-Kent as one of our major sponsors, we could not do this,” he said.
“Chatham-Kent is our major sponsor, which is why, on all of our banners, it is ‘Thanks to Chatham-Kent.'”
Here are some photos from the event: