The festival for Halloween lovers –
Story and photos by Patricia Beech –
The Caraway Pumpkin Festival has been a favorite for kids and families for more than 15 years. The annual fair signaling the onset of the fall holiday season draws large crowds to the Caraway Farm in the rolling hills of Blue Creek.
Harvest and Halloween enthusiasts flock to the three-day event featuring thousands of pumpkins, squash, and gourds of every size, shape, and color. Families search together for the perfect Jack O’Lanterns, fodder shocks, and mums. Kids wander wide-eyed among the cornucopia of harvest fruit displays. One boy, 10 years old or so, steadied his feet, and bending his knees wrapped his arms around a massive pumpkin. He strained mightily to lift it, but the pumpkin didn’t budge. Standing, hands on hips, he called across the Giant Pumpkin display, “This is the one we want, Mom!”
The farm’s spacious barnyard was transformed into a marketplace where vendors and artisans hawked their wares – a variety of primitive craft works, handmade soaps, homemade jams and jellies, jewelry, and antiques.
Racing ducks, shooting the pumpkin cannon, and riding the Cow Train around the farm were among the fun activities for kids.
The Caraway farm is one of Adams County’s Century Farms. It was purchased in Dec. 1888 by Samuel E. Caraway.
“Our farm has produced many crops over the past century, but we love our pumpkins the most,” said Angie Caraway. Now in its 15th year, the festival has become a favored local tradition, but Caraway says that the 2016 festival is the last the family will host.
“This will be our last year,” she says. “It’s bittersweet, but we’re ready to make a lot of changes.” Caraway said the family plans to continue raising and selling their eight-acre harvest. “Next year we’ll have the pumpkins and a craft house in the barn where visitors can shop, but there won’t be a festival.”
Caraway Farm is open each day from now through Nov. 1 from 11 a.m. until dark each day.