Pumpkin Festival starts Friday
MILFORD – Thousands of people are expected to descend on downtown Milford this weekend for the town’s annual three-day Pumpkin Festival, drawn by free admission and a host of activities, food and entertainment in this New England small town.
The festival has been held every year since 1999, but last year it seemed like 2017 would be the last when the organization that had been running it bowed out.
Then a new all-volunteer group that calls itself the Granite Town Festivities Committee, stepped up, and the festival is set to begin Friday evening at 5 p.m.
There will be live music and other entertainment all weekend, a giant pumpkin weigh-in contest, pumpkin painting, pumpkin sales, a pumpkin catapult, crafts, pumpkin carving, food vendors, a haunted trail, scarecrow making and face painting and an expanded fireworks show Friday night. Check the schedule for more details.
The all-volunteer committee is working to make it a memorable event, but they also remind people there is limited downtown parking, and visitors are asked to park in the high school or middle school lots and take a shuttle bus.
Roads will be closed to east-west traffic around the Oval, but traffic will be able to go from South Street to Mont Vernon Street north and south.
On Friday, the buses will be available from the middle school only, from 4:30-10:30 p.m. There is no shuttle from the high school Friday night, only from the middle school. On Saturday, the shuttle will be at both schools, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
On Sunday, the bus runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from both schools.
ATM machines available at TD Bank, Bar Harbor Bank, Rite Aid, CVS Pharmacy, Olde Kilkenny Pub and Serendipity on the Oval.
Restroom facilities include portable toilets on the Community House Lawn, Middle Street, Emerson Park and Mont Vernon Street. Restrooms also available at the back entrance of the Masonic Lodge near Emerson Park.
Schedule for the Milford
5 p.m.: Festival opens
5-9 p.m.: Live Music on the Oval stage and the Community House lawn stage.
Food and craft vendors on Middle Street and around the Oval.
Duck race sales on Middle Street at the Milford Ambulance Service booth. The race is on Sunday at 1 p.m. with prizes for the first three ducks to cross the finish line.
Pumpkin sales on the Oval: Look for Kokko Realty’s big pumpkin balloon.
6:45 p.m.: Opening ceremonies on the Oval Stage, including presentation of the 2018 Milford Citizen Of The Year award and the Pumpkin Runner’s arrival to kick-off the Town Hall lighting.
5:30-8:30 p.m.: Beer, wine and spirits tasting under the tent at the Community House lawn, hosted by the Milford Lions and Rotary Clubs, with burgers from Papa Joe’s Humble Kitchen.
5:30-8:30 p.m.: Haunted Trail at Emerson Park. Tickets are $5 and children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
9 p.m.: Fireworks by Atlas Pyrotechnics (Fireworks rain date is Saturday, Oct. 6).
There will be free music and other entertainment throughout the weekend.
(Bring carved pumpkins to the Oval by 6 p.m. Saturday to be lit on the bandstand).
10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.: Family activities on the Community House lawn. Scarecrow making $15 per scarecrow. Face painting $1 for one cheek, $5 full face. Pumpkin painting $5 and up, depending on the size of the pumpkin.
Noon: Kokko Realty and the Kokko family’s Giant Pumpkin Weigh-in contest winners announced! Cash prizes for the largest and largest Milford grown pumpkin.
10 a.m. to 8 p.m.: Arts and crafts fair in Milford Town Hall.
10 a.m. to 9 p.m.: Milford Rotary Club and Milford Lions Clubs will be grilling burgers, sausages, hot dogs and grilled cheese on the Community House lawn.
10 a.m. to 9 p.m.: food and craft vendors on Middle Street and around the Oval
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Pumpkin Catapult – South St. behind lower TD Bank parking lot – a Souhegan Valley Dollars For Scholars fundraiser. Try to hit the floating scarecrow targets.
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Eye Spy scavenger hunt at the Cary House, Milford Historical Society, 6 Union Street. Complete the game and be entered into a raffle for a new metal detector. Raffle sponsored by Dr. Sreemali Vasantha, Souhegan Valley Dental. All game players under age 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
5:30-8:30 p.m.: Beer, wine and spirits tasting under the tent on the Community House lawn, hosted by the Milford Lions and Rotary Clubs, with burgers from Papa Joe’s Humble Kitchen.
6-9 p.m.: Haunted Trail at Emerson Park. Tickets are $5 and children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
7 p.m.: Talent show at the Amato Center Theater, 56 Mont Vernon Street. Tickets $10.
All day mural painting on Nashua Street.
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Live music and performances on the Oval Stage and the Community House Lawn stage.
9 a.m.: Milford Destination Imagination Color Fun Run Race sponsored by the Arthur L. Keyes Memorial Trust, begins at Keyes Memorial Park. Register at Millennium Running. All proceeds benefit the Milford Destination Imagination teams.
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Family activities – scarecrow making, pumpkin painting & face painting – on the Community House lawn.
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Milford Lions Club members grilling burgers, sausages, hot dogs and grilled cheese on the Community House lawn.
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Arts and crafts fair in Milford Town Hall.
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Food and craft vendors on Middle Street and around the Oval.
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Milford Ambulance Service open house on Middle Street. Safety related activities for children of all ages.
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Pumpkin catapult on South Street behind lower TD Bank parking lot – a Souhegan Valley Dollars For Scholars fundraiser . Try to hit the floating scarecrow targets.
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Live Music and other performances on the Oval stage and the Community House lawn Stage
1 p.m.: Milford Ambulance Service Duck Race on the Souhegan River.
3 p.m.: Closing ceremonies.
All day mural painting on Nashua Street.