by Rachel Hunter
The 8th Annual Pumpkin Festival, presented by the Gouverneur Fair Association and the Gouverneur Chamber of Commerce, will come to the Gouverneur Fairgrounds on Saturday, September 28 and Sunday, September 29, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. The event is generously sponsored by RSI Roofing Co., Gouverneur Garden Club, Peace of Mind Home Inspection Service, Community Health Center of the North Country, and Aubuchon Hardware in Gouverneur.
All are invited to showcase their green thumb during the Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off Competition. Pumpkins will be received on Saturday, September 28, 10 a.m. to noon, and on Sunday, September 29, starting at 10 a.m. The weigh-off will be from 1 to 2 p.m. on Sunday, with the Giant Pumpkin Award Ceremony at 2 p.m.
Returning once again is the crowd-favorite, Great Pumpkin Drop, which will be held at 3 p.m. each day. All are encouraged to get a $5 ticket to win a chance at big cash payout on both days. The first place winner will receive $300, second place winner, $200, and third place winner, $100. See Linda Bishop or any Fair Board member if you would like to purchase a ticket.
Volunteers gut a giant pumpkin of all the pumpkin meat and seeds, fill the hollowed-out space with numbered golf balls (corresponding to the ticket numbers), and lift it high in sky using a crane so it can be dropped from a tremendous height. Since the inaugural Pumpkin Festival, Crane Operator Barry Turner has donated his time for several years to make this event a success.
Once the giant pumpkin has been dropped, volunteers then set to work to measure the distance of the golf balls, and the winners of the Great Pumpkin Drop are announced. Don't miss this opportunity to see the pumpkin-smashing action this year during the first and second Great Pumpkin Drop on the Gouverneur Fairgrounds!
Event organizers also said that the 2019 Pumpkin Festival T-shirts will be available for sale at the Gouverneur Chamber of Commerce table.
The full schedule of events is as follows:
On Saturday, September 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the 2019 Pumpkin Festival Vendor and Craft Show will kickoff in the 4-H Youth Building. Vendors are still being sought. For more information, visit gouverneurfair.net.
Children's Activities by the Gouverneur Recreation Center will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be a scarecrow workshop ($5), kids crafts, scavenger hunt, kids carnival games, Pumpkin Plinko, pumpkin board games, and more.
Also starting at 10 a.m., there will be a bounce house, obstacle course and huge slide on site ($5 wristband). All youth are also invited to ride the Cow Train, free ride for kids only.
Starting at 12 p.m. (noon), Tim Bango of Bango Valley Percherons will provide wagon rides.
At 1 p.m., there will be music by the McAdam Family Band.
At 3 p.m., will be the much-anticipated first Great Pumpkin Drop of the 2019 Pumpkin Festival. All are encouraged to purchase their $5 tickets ahead of this time for chance to at a big cash payout.
There will be food stands by Mullins, Nibbles Snackery, and Cotton Candy & More on the grounds.
Also on Saturday, the Gouverneur Garden Club will have its Mum and Bake Sale.
The Second Annual VFW Auxiliary Freedom Festival will be held on Saturday, September 28 during the 2019 Pumpkin Festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., hosted by the Silas Wainwright Auxiliary to VFW Post 6338 in Gouverneur. Members will there to provide information about the various programs that they do throughout the year to support veterans, auxiliary members and local youth. There will be two free raffles, one for men and one for women. All are invited to stop by and learn about scholarship programs the Auxiliary supports and sponsors locally, the VFW National Home for Children, this year' special project (America's VetDogs), and to find out eligibility requirement to join the VFW Auxiliary.
On Sunday, September 29, the 2019 Pumpkin Festival will commence at 8:30 a.m. for Ripathon Faith & Fitness event, organized by Amber Ormason. Registration will be at 8:15 a.m. There will be a Mother/Daughter (or any female) Defense Course with Master Frank Palumbo from 8:30 to 9 a.m. A Ripit Fitness session will be held from 9:15 a.m. to 10 a.m. Certified “Pound” Instructor Ranisa Young will conduct a class at 10 a.m. with a cool down from 10:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. For more information, see the Facebook event.
The 2019 Pumpkin Festival Vendor and Craft Show will continue inside the 4-H Youth Building from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, September 29.
There also will be a worship service, conducted by the First United Methodist Church of Gouverneur, in the new cattle barn on the Gouverneur Fairgrounds, starting at 11 a.m. All are invited to attend.
Also starting at 10 a.m. and concluding at 3 p.m., there will be a bounce house, obstacle course and huge slide on site ($5 wristband). All youth are also invited to ride the Cow Train, free ride for kids only, starting at 10 a.m. Sponsored by the Community Health Center of the North Country, face painting and balloon animals will be available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Another crowd-favorite, the Pumpkin Cruise-In, a classic car show, will return to the Gouverneur Fairgrounds on Sunday, September 29, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. A People's Choice Trophy will be awarded.
At noon, there will be available for purchase Chicken BBQ dinners. The chef-in-charge will be Dave Bishop of DeKalb.
Music by the Steelin' Country Band will be performed from the FFA Building on Sunday, September 29, 1 to 2:30 p.m.
The Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off (both youth and adult competitions) will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. The Giant Pumpkin Award Ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. with the prizes going to the heaviest pumpkins entered.
At 3 p.m., will be the much-anticipated second Great Pumpkin Drop of the 2019 Pumpkin Festival. All are encouraged to purchase their $5 tickets ahead of this time for chance to at a big cash payout.
For entry forms and more information, visit GouverneurFair.net.
All proceeds from the 2019 Pumpkin Fest are directed towards the building maintenance fund for the fairgrounds.