With fall in the air, the Cumberland Valley Community Connections hosted its first Pumpkin Fest at the Shippensburg Fairgrounds on Oct. 21-23.
The three-day event featured live pumpkin carver Danny Kissel, a Pennsylvania native who was most recently on the TV series “Outrageous Pumpkins” in 2020, as well as Food Network’s “Halloween Wars.” Aside from the live pumpkin carving, there were various food trucks, fall craft vendors, live music and plenty of activities for the kids.
The event was free to the community and drew locals out to spend time with their friends and families to participate in a pumpkin toss, tractor parade, pumpkin painting, hay bale maze, pie eating contest, pumpkin pie bake-off, pumpkin costume contest and much more. The event even hosted a homemade pumpkin costume contest in which the winner received $100, second place received $50 and third place received $25.
The main attraction of the event was the activities for children. Pumpkin painting, bouncy castles and hayrides kept the crowds of young ones entertained while live pumpkin carvers — including Danny Kissel and Jim Billie — created masterpieces with pumpkins that were larger than life. Other pumpkin carving creations were set up to view and enjoy while vendors were spread across the fairgrounds selling items ranging from homemade soap, jerky, jewelry and more.
The festival was set up by community volunteers the day before and was sponsored by 16 local businesses including Parx’s Casino, Shippensburg University and Shippensburg Township.
With festive activities, great food and more the event succeeded and brought many people out to spend time enjoying this time of year. The next Shippensburg Pumpkin Fest is expected to take place from Oct. 20 -22, 2023.