“What a beautiful showcase for our lovely little village,” said Amanda Pantry, chair of the 24th annual Battersea Pumpkin Festival Saturday as the parade was coming to its end. “It highlights how the community comes together.”
The Pumpkin Festival is a fall fair of sorts, but it has its own unique character. There’s no midway of course, or games where you win stuffed animals.
But there are lots of kids games, each with a pumpkin-based theme. There aren’t any rides per se, but there are wagon rides through the village, a haunted barn and they even have their own miniature railroad.
There’s plenty of music and entertainment, crafts, a petting zoo, face painting, balloons and all sorts of costumes, many of which feature some of the 100s of volunteers it takes to put this on.
But another thing you notice is how quickly the rather large parking area fills up. In fact, this year they even had a shuttle bus running from Storrington Public School and that parking lot was full too.
You might even conclude that, with all the cars, a lot of people are coming from out of town.
“They are,” Pantry said. “Over the years, the Festival has expanded into the community but a lot of people come from the city.
“We’ve been getting more attention on social media and it’s an affordable family outing.
“People love this time of year.”
Perhaps the highlight of this year’s festival (after the Kingston Police Pipe Band in the parade) was the return of Shore Chips to the festival.
For many years, Shore Chips followed by Funnel Cakes was one of those destination meals, something not to be missed whatever reason brought you to the Festival.
But on June 21, 2017, Bill Hinch died. Bill, you see, was the guy who did the Shore Chips. They were missed last year.
However, this year, Kirk Hinch, Bill’s son, who was born and raised in Battersea, came back from Mountain View Alberta to make the chips assisted by cousin Mike Ball.
Mom Nadine made the funnel cakes.
They made it worth the trip.