Sparkling finale to day

Traders in Spalding went animal crackers to help make the Pumpkin Parade a huge success.

This was the first year the parade went along The Crescent and there were no excuses for families to be without a lantern as Christine Hanson hosted a special pumpkin carving event at Bookmark on Thursday evening in readiness for the next day.

Spalding Pumpkin Parade Parade sets off from the Sheep Market with fancy dress winner Holly Klatt in the pumpkin coach with Rotary coachman Jon Bradley.

Spalding Pumpkin Parade Parade sets off from the Sheep Market with fancy dress winner Holly Klatt in the pumpkin coach with Rotary coachman Jon Bradley.

More people than ever took part in the Crescent Traders’ Pumpkin Competition to find wild creatures hidden in shop windows - with the winners to be announced in Thursday’s Spalding Guardian.

There were also wildlife stands in the street, so children could get a up close view of bats and hedgehogs.

Families were able to have a souvenir photo taken among a pumpkin display at the Pumpkin Patch, with many taking the opportunity for a picture with the Free Press’ Spike the Hedgehog.

Ivan Pastore at Amicis Restaurant was handing out free pumpkin soup and Phil Davis at Rumblings Cafe was serving refreshments until late in the evening.

Spalding Pumpkin Parade'Parade sets off from Sheep Market ANL-140410-000945009

Spalding Pumpkin Parade'Parade sets off from Sheep Market ANL-140410-000945009

David Sanderson, of The Crescent Traders’ Association, said: “It was fantastic to see hundreds of children and mums and dads accompanied by the marching band make there way past the shops.”

The fun began in the Sheepmarket at noon, with music from The Courgettes and a variety of stalls, where visitors could buy pumpkin-themed food and gifts.

The fancy dress competition was hosted by Jan Whitbourn of Tulip Radio at the stage in the Market Place at teatime.

Winner of the aged five to eight competion was Naomi Warren as Mary Pumpkin, with Ava Smith as a pumpkin plant second and Ronnie Smith as a tin of pumpkin soup third.

Spalding Pumpkin Parade'Parade sets off from Sheep Market ANL-140410-002312009

Spalding Pumpkin Parade'Parade sets off from Sheep Market ANL-140410-002312009

Holly Klass embraced the animal theme and won the over-eights’ competition as a rat and went on to ride in the parade on the pumpkin carriage. Second was Chloe Bekker as cheese and third was Ryan Jardine as a scarey skeleton.

After the parade, crowds packed into the Market Place for the fireworks display. A spokesperson for South Holland District Council said: “This year’s Spalding Pumpkin Festival was definitely one of the best.

“The event attracted large crowds to the town centre who enjoyed a fun-filled day of autumnal entertainment.

“We have already had lots of positive feedback from those who attended from all over the district.

Spalding Pumpkin Parade'Bourne Borderers entertain ANL-140410-002606009

Spalding Pumpkin Parade'Bourne Borderers entertain ANL-140410-002606009

“We would like to thank everyone who came along as well as those who helped organise and run the event.”

For more pictures see Thursday’s Spalding Guardian