Scooby Doo and Dino may be among the characters dogging this year’s Pumpkin People celebration.
This fun display of straw-stuffed people with pumpkin heads is popular with local residents and has the added benefit of drawing visitors to the area each fall. The theme for this year’s festival is ‘Welcome to Toon Town’, so expect to see a collection of classic cartoon characters around Kentville.
Mayor Sandra Snow says this event has been hitting the streets every year before Halloween for the past two decades. The idea is to encourage people to come to the Annapolis Valley for a weekend getaway, enjoy the seasonal colours and activities.
“It sparks a new season after summer winds down and the days are starting to get shorter,” she said. “This is still such a beautiful time of the year to visit the Annapolis Valley, people can come on Saturday to see the Pumpkin People, visit the wineries, corn mazes, and farmers’ markets. It’s a great way to fill in Saturday and Sunday before heading back home.”
The strategy seems to be working, as each year Kentville welcomes visitors from all over the map for Pumpkin People. Folks from as far away as Texas have travelled to Nova Scotia for this festival, she added.
The fall fun kicks off Sept. 25, when the downtown core starts gourding out with the autumn colors. Volunteers are invited to join the downtown decorating party to help dress up the light poles with cornstalks and lights. Last year, a big group of the Girl Guides joined the fun.
People wanting to get in on the fall fun at their own homes and businesses can grab a pumpkin and the supplies they need on Sept 28 at Memorial Pool. Lindsay Young, community and economic development co-ordinator for the Town of Kentville, says the idea behind this year’s Pumpkin People came from the festival’s own stylist.
“In other years, we have asked for public input, run contests, or come up with theme ideas by committee,” Young said.
As usual, about 300 Pumpkin People will be dressed up and on display around the Town of Kentville. Scenes from classic shows such as The Flintstones, Scooby Doo and the gang, He-Man, She-Ra, and the Jetsons are among the big displays planned for the town, but there are some special guests that are yet to be announced.
“We keep some a surprise so that visitors can discover them all with a little wonder,” she added.
The Pumpkin People will be lined up and ready to see Oct. 5, when the Harvest Festival in Centre Square kicks off the month of Pumpkin People.