Pumpkin Festival opens on Friday

MILFORD – The sun should be shining when Milford’s Great Pumpkin Festival opens Friday evening with cloudy conditions forecast through Sunday.

If those predictions hold, the Granite Town Festivities Committee is aiming to draw more than 20,000 visitors over the three-day event at the Milford Oval.

“There is no real way to do a count, but if we get a solid three days of great weather the numbers are going to be way up,” GTFC head Wade Campbell said.

With that much traffic set to descend upon Milford, road closings will be in effect over the course of the Festival’s three days, beginning Friday at 4:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, from 9:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m., and Sunday, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

No through traffic will be allowed from Nashua St. to Elm St. Detours will be posted. There will be minimal access on Route 13 going from north to south.

Traffic going west on Nashua St. will be detoured at Clinton St. At Nashua St. and Franklin Street, detours will be directed to Franklin Street.

Beginning at 5 p.m. Friday through 3 p.m. Sunday, no parking will be allowed on Franklin and High streets. The no-parking areas will be posted.

A shuttle bus service will run all three days from the Milford Middle School. Shuttles to and from Milford High School parking areas will be available Saturday and Sunday. Facemasks are mandatory to ride on the shuttle bus.

The Festival will be officially open beginning Friday at 5 p.m.- 9 p.m. On Saturday activities are scheduled to be from 10 a.m.-9 p.m., with Sunday’s hours set at 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Any changes will be posted at milfordpumpkinfestival.org.

Live music performances, featuring an array of local artists, are on the schedule starting Friday night and continuing through Sunday.

The Milford Pumpkin runner will signal the start of the Festival on Friday with the Town Hall Pumpkin Lighting at 6:30 p.m., at which time Milford’s Citizen of the Year will be announced.

The Great Pumpkin Weigh-In will highlight Saturday’s activities at noon.

Pumpkin carving and lighting will commence Saturday starting at 11 a.m. The Milford Historical Society’s Scavenger Hunt at the Carey House, 6 Union St., is scheduled for Saturday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The Historical Society’s Milford History Walking Tour will be available Saturday and Sunday mornings from 8-9:30 a.m.

The Haunted Trail in Emerson Park, opens Friday 6-9 p.m. and Saturday from 5:30-9 p.m. A bounce house and games will also be located at Emerson Park.

The beer, wine and spirits tasting, hosted by the Milford Rotary Club and Milford Lions Club, is set for Friday and Saturday from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Arts and crafts booths will be set-up in the Town Hall auditorium and banquet room, on the Oval, at Emerson Park and on Middle St.

Charitable fundraisers will include the Rubber Duck Race down the Souhegan River on Sunday at 1 p.m., to benefit the Milford Ambulance Association. Ducks may be purchased at the Association’s Middle St. booth, $5 for one or $20 for five.

The Pumpkin Catapult, run by the Souhegan Valley Dollars for scholars to benefit local academic scholarships, will be in operation Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Scarecrow making and face painting is offered at the Community House lawn on Saturday from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.