Photo courtesy of Sidelines Archive
Photos and story by Gerardo Palacios / Contributing Writer
Downtown Franklin hosted PumpkinFest Saturday for its 34th year as Middle Tennessee’s largest family fall festival. And with the celebration came many treats, some of which took the form of Halloween candy.
It was a chilly day for an outdoor festival, but that did not stop the crowd from hoarding downtown. With more than 100 vendors on-site, ranging from food vendors to store merchants, there was a lot to explore.
Face painting, pony rides, inflatables and other activities kept many of the guests busy, but there were other events that took place as well, such as the costume contest, which was comprised of six categories: ages 0 to 2, 3 to 6, 7 to 11, 12 and over, groups and pets. Many gathered as the host invited contestants one-by-one.
As with any other competition, the contestants got creative, including Eddy Ramos, who dressed up as a huge stilt spirit, which entailed a cloaked man wearing a white, featureless-face walking on stilts. Ramos was not the only one using stilts to get his head above the crowd; there were two others. One dressed as a scarecrow and the second dressed as the grim reaper.
Other main attractions included live music and dance performances.
Artists and craft-masters also came down to showcase their work. Cory Basil — whose semi-haunting and playful artistic style fit the fall theme perfectly — was one of those artists showcasing his work. Andrea Hoak was another.
“I usually come down to Franklin to visit my family, and it just happens that the festival is around that time,” Hoak, who traveled all the way from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, said. This is her second year at the festival, which she uses to sell her guitar string jewelry.
Kevin J, a miniaturist who, like Hoak, traveled great distance to attend the festival and is a native of Florida came to earn some upfront exposure to potential clients with his miniature, life-like flowers made out of clay.
“I have created these (clay flowers) for 15 years,” he said.
A Pumpkin Festival would not be complete without a giant pumpkin, though. And that’s just what PumpkinFest provided. With a total weight of 1,298 lbs, you can follow the pumpkin’s journey on Twitter @FranklinPumpkin.
According to the website of Heritage foundation of Franklin and Williamson County, a non profit organization founded in 1967, the festival is “dedicated to protecting and preserving Williamson County’s historic, architectural and geographic resources.”
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