WESTFIELD – For the third straight year, Westfield on Weekends’ PumpkinFest will bring Fall and Halloween festivities for the whole family to Park Square and Elm St. on Oct. 19.
What began as the history-focused Colonial Harvest Day transformed into a day to get into the spirit of Autumn and Halloween for children and their families according to PumpkinFest co-chair, Bob Plasse. He added that the focus on children and the holiday changed everything.
“When it was the Colonial Harvest Day we used to get maybe 1,000 people coming throughout the day but once we switched over we started getting thousands of people attending,” Plasse said. He added Westfield on Weekends is also hosting a social media campaign that currently has over 3,000 people interested.
PumpkinFest offers a variety of events throughout the day for children from 12 to 6 p.m. Plasse said the main attraction of the day is the pumpkin carving, which will take place in Park Square. He said Westfield on Weekends will be giving out over 700 pumpkins.
“Once the kids are done decorating their pumpkins, they can have their pictures taken with their creations,” Plasse added.
Plasse said one of the other big draws of the day will be Trunk or Treat Boulevard along Elm St. He said children are encouraged to showcase their Halloween costumes early and participate in some early trick-or-treating as well. All of the cars along Elm St. will be decorated.
Another way Westfield on Weekends is getting the kids ready for the day is through its partnership with Westfield Public Schools. Plasse said children from grades one through three will be showcasing their drawings of scarecrows at the Athenaeum and other buildings throughout downtown Westfield during the festival.
Throughout the day there will be performances by local youth groups and professional groups at the Main Stage on Park Square Green. Plasse said the groups include the Westfield Boys and Girls Club, Westfield High School’s Show Choir and Jazz Combo and the All-Star Dance
The day will also include a Big Rig Rally presented by Westfield Gas and Electric, the Athenaeum will host a treasure hunt through the library, the Friends of the Athenaeum will also be hosting a toy and book sale. There will be a Harvest Market full of vendors between Arnold and Franklin St. Artworks of Westfield will have a themed version of its monthly ArtWalk for PumpkinFest.
“We’ll also be having games galore throughout the day in Park Square,” Plasse added.
According to Plasse, Westfield on Weekends will have a Pick-a-Palooza raffle in Park Square throughout the day. He said there are 25 different prize packages put together by local businesses up for grabs.
Plasse said Westfield on Weekends wouldn’t be able to hold these big events without its numerous volunteers and partners. “We’re grateful to our city businesses, non-profit organizations and volunteers who make this a real special time in our wonderful community,” he said.
While PumpkinFest hasn’t yet begun, plans are already in motion for Westfield on Weekends’ next series of events, DecemberFest, that lasts from Thanksgiving through New Year’s, Plasse added.