By Mallory Collier
Writer for ‘52 Things to do in Chenango County’
NORWICH – Passing through downtown Norwich, NY in October and seeing jack-o’-lanterns lighting up the night can only mean one thing: Pumpkin Festival. This iconic sight is a reminder to the community that the popular pumpkin themed event has returned.
For the 18th year straight Pumpkin Fest will take place Friday and Saturday October 28th and 29th at East and West Parks. While many know it affectionately as a local event, it began in 1999 after a group of individuals visited another Pumpkin Festival in Keene, NH. Inspired by the event, they decided to start a similar tradition here in Norwich offering families a weekend of fun and free entertainment.
Although the festival doesn’t occur until the fall, pumpkin planning begins as early as March according to Tyler Oliver, Norwich Pumpkin Festival Coordinator. “Though we have been fortunate enough to keep the majority of our activities free of charge, we’ve had to be creative on how we do it. That takes time and effort that I’m not sure many people know or realize. However, our small group of committee volunteers works endlessly to provide an exciting weekend that’s worthwhile,” said Oliver.