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News and Upcoming Pumpkinfest Events

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  • Port Elgin Pumpkinfest Recognized at Festival & Events Ontario Summit!
    March 2, 2021 | 0 comments


    The Pumpkinfest Team is extremely proud to receive a FEO (Festival and Events Ontario) Achievement Award for the 2020 event at the recent FEO Summit!  The criteria for FEO Achievement Awards were specifically for events that were able to Adapt - Pivot - Evolve in these challenging times.   

    “When we read the criteria for the 2020 awards submission, all three of the criteria words certainly hit home for Pumpkinfest 2020!” states coordinator Joanne Robbins. “I am immensely proud of the whole Pumpkinfest Team, friends and sponsors, who saw the value in moving forward through a COVID-19 challenging year.  This award belongs to all of us.”

    The submission elaborated on Pumpkinfest’s innovations to stage the 2020 event including:

    • The Bruce Power International Weigh Off was a live webcast event, with growers able to weigh their vegetables at an Official Weigh Off Site, and the public able to watch it all live in real time.
    • The traditional OPG Environmental Tent was transformed into “the OPG Pumpkin Pack Wednesdays” – a drive through pick up event held the three weeks before the festival giving recipients much appreciated bag of interactive fun family themed experiences done in the safety of their own home. 
    • The OLG Cinderella’s Carriage Virtual Car Show page on our website had over 350 attendees or "uploaders". Most included a story about their vehicle and its history that was a great hit with enthusiasts and gave us great content on our social media channels.
    • Bruce Telecom Harvest Star Search Talent Show and other harvest activities encouraged the public to upload photos and videos to our website that we could use throughout the live webcast and showcase all year long.

    Adapt - Pivot - Evolve. These aren’t just buzz words; they are strong pillars for the event industry as we move from 2020 into the new year.  2021 will bring challenges as well, but the Pumpkinfest Team is ready!

    To see all the great uploaded pictures and videos visit www.pumpkinfest.org

    To see the full taped event please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyMYVy5j12w         


  • Pumpkinfest Gives Back
    December 4, 2020 | 0 comments


    Pumpkinfest is proud to announce that we have tallied the donations made at the on-line event in October and have split the donated funds between long time supporters, Breakers Swim Team and The Cobean Crusaders (Tara Boom Childrens Foundation).  Pictured above Dave Mensher, President, presents both groups with the cheques.  

    Pumpkinfest has traditinally supplied a venue to support over 35 local non profit groups with their fundraising efforts, whether contracting them to do much needed jobs, such as working the gates, or allowing them free space to sell products or food for their varius good works.   The virtual festival in 2020 was a very different event that didn't allow for the traditional fundraising efforts for some of these groups, so the Pumpkinfest committee decided to add an option to donate throughout the live event.   We want to thank everyone that pushed that "donate" button to support our local non-profits!

    We also want to congratulate the Port Elgin Lions Club for supporting many of these  local organizations through the proceeds from the Pumpkinfest Mega Bingo, and the Port Elgin Rotary Club who supported the Hospice with their Pumpkin Pie sales.

    Port Elgn Pumpkinfest, entering it's 35th year, is already planning for the 2021 festival that takes place the weekend before thanksgiving!

  • Site Record Set at Port Elgin Pumpkinfest Bruce Power Weigh Off!
    October 4, 2020 | 0 comments


    Site Record Set at Port Elgin Pumpkinfest Bruce Power Weigh Off

    Port Elgin, ON:  The results are confirmed and the winners of the biggest pumpkin are: Phil & Jane Hunt and Chris Lyons. Each champion growers themselves, Chris, Phil and Jane joined forces to try to break the 2,000 lb mark in Canada.  Although their pumpkin didn’t quite make the goal it broke a site record for Port Elgin Pumpkinfest at 1,939.5 lbs! 41 growers arrived on a damp day to have their giant veggies inspected and measured.  Over $12,500 in prizes were awarded including $3,000 for the largest pumpkin. 

    “After an unusual year we had a different kind of weigh off,” says co-winner Chris Lyons,” but we really appreciate that Pumpkinfest went forward with the weigh off portion of their festival, and hope the street festival and public can return next year.” 

    “We want to thank all volunteers for putting together a great show for us during this pandemic. We watched the entire show on our iPad & were impressed by the whole thing. A huge thanks to Pumpkinfest from all of us growers,” say Jane & Phil Hunt

    Congrats to John Mataea from Breslaw with his 2nd place 1,897 lb pumpkin, weighing in with his personal best.

    Todd Kline from Shawville Quebec brought the largest Squash, weighing in at 1,288 lbs.  

    Another site record for the largest Bushel Gourd was set by Joseph Giffen at 249.5 pounds!

    Heaviest watermelon was brought in by Mark Pollock of Kincardine at 124.5 lbs

    The Fred Wuerth Tri County prize was awarded to Bob & Elaine MacKenzie of Tiverton who entered a 1,812.5 lb pumpkin – their personal best!  They also won biggest Cabbage with a 46.5 lb giant.  This prize is named in honour of Mayor Fred Wuerth, who, with Doug Court started Pumpkinfest in 1986.  Fred was the first winner with a 200+lb pumpkin.  Doug Court is still involved with the festival and he and his family entered a number of specimens with him taking home 2nd place for his 112.5 lb field pumpkin and 2nd place for a 6.68 lb tomato.  3rd place with a 199 lb bushel gourd 3rd place with a 73.12 lb marrow.

    For the full results visit www.pumpkinfest.org.

    President Dave Mensher states “We would like to send thanks to the Board for all the work they did leading up to and during this event.  to the volunteers who are there for us – rain or shine – pandemic or not…  to the Growers for continuing to support Port Elgin Pumpkinfest to the Town council and staff for all their help and consideration. And to our fans who watched and enjoyed.  To Dave Middleton and Robin Woods for hosting the event so smoothly.  Thanks to CTRE for pulling it all together into a professional production.”

    “The health and safety of our volunteers and growers was paramount in our planning, and it was wonderful to see everyone following distancing rules and protocols,” says Coordinator Joanne Robbins, “the growers waited calmly and patiently in their vehicles until it was their turn to unload.  The internet provided by Bruce Telecom allowed them to watch the show on their devices while in the line-up, but for anyone that missed the show you can watch the virtual production on youtube.  The positive response has been overwhelming.”

    To see the event please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyMYVy5j12w