This year’s Spalding Pumpkin Festival once again proved a popular success, with an estimated 12,000 people gathering to celebrate the special occasion.
The festival took place on Friday and saw the centre of Spalding transformed into an awesome autumnal extravaganza.
The annual festivity has been a popular diary date for over a decade and is organised by South Holland District Council, sponsored by Spalding firm David Bowman Pumpkins and supported by the Spalding and Welland Rotary Club, Spalding Lions and Transported.
Coun Gary Taylor, South Holland District Council’s portfolio holder for community, said: “Once again the event proved extremely successful and we’ve already had lots of positive feedback.
“The festival really puts South Holland on the map, celebrating our proud association with horticulture and harvest. It’s a unique community event, bringing together people of all ages from across the district and further afield.
“I would like to thank everyone who organised and took part in the festival and of course everybody who came along and helped to make it such a memorable occasion.”
Local schools and groups were encouraged to take part in the build-up and festival itself. Mr Bowman, who is Europe’s largest producer of pumpkins, donated thousands of the fruit to schools and pupils carved and decorated them before taking their creations to the event.
The festival featured the enchanting Pumpkin Parade as well as a variety of daytime entertainment including a charity market, street performers, activities and competitions.
The market included stalls and goodies provided by local groups and charities with visitors enjoying a selection of healthy pumpkin treats and take away recipes.
Council chairman Coun Rodney Grocock judged the window dressing contest and picked Flowers n Things in Red Lion Street as the winners.
The popular fancy dress competition, organised by Spalding Lions, saw lucky winner Jasmine Elvin (8) leading the pumpkin parade in the Rotary’s magical pumpkin coach.
The parade had a carnival element, with Emccan (the East Midlands Caribbean Carnival Network) working with pupils from the Moulton John Harrox Primary School, Spalding High School and the Priory School to create light up flags, head dresses and carnival costumes.
Local dancers also took part in the parade, joining with a professional dance troupe and carnival kings and queens from around the East Midlands.
The climax of the night saw a spectacular fireworks display from the top of the South Holland Centre.
•Two pages of pictures in the Free Press tomorrow (Tuesday).