This scarecrow leans against a light pole in downtown Bradford during a previous Pumpkin Fest fall festival. This year’s festival will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 1 in kick-off the fall season, organizers said.


The annual Pumpkin Fest fall festival will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 1 on Main Street in Bradford to kick-off the “highly anticipated” fall season, organizers said.

The event is a family-centered festival with lots of activities, including a free movie at the Main Street Movie House, an opportunity to meet Mother Goose, hay wagon rides, pony rides, a bounce house, live entertainment, Queen B’s from Studio B Dance Academy, Cassie Wollen pumpkin carving, pumpkin painting, caricatures artist, Bradford City fire truck display, apple bobbing, face painting, a fun house and Kendall Creek Alpacas.

There will also be a variety of craft vendors, entertainment vendors and food booths, in addition to a beer tent sponsored by LaStella Lodge on Festival Way.

“Pumpkin Fest, which is downtown’s annual fall festival, has grown from year to year and is continuing to do so,” according to Main Street Manager Chelsea Schwab. “This year, we have 30 craft vendors, 15 entertainment vendors and a variety of options for food and drinks thus far. Vendors are still being accepted, so anyone interested can still join in on this wonderful fall kick-off event.”

Pumpkin Fest will once again be held in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s Family and Alumni Weekend.

“This year will be our second year teaming up with Pitt-Bradford to host the fall festival in conjunction with Pitt’s Family and Alumni Weekend festivities, and it’s worked well so far,” Schwab said. “The decision stemmed from the fact that both events took place in similar time frames, and organizers from both sides thought it would round out a nice weekend to start the fall season.”

It’s also a great way to bring the campus into the community for a weekend of fun, Schwab noted.

“Collaboration has been great,” she added. “And the Pumpkin Fest fits nicely into Pitt-Bradford’s weekend schedule of activities, especially with coordination that keeps from overlapping on events.”

From noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 1, Pitt-Bradford will host a block party at Veterans Square in Bradford, and will feature a variety of games, entertainment and activities that are open to the local community, in addition to fireworks taking place at 9 p.m.

Pumpkin Fest, as well, is open to the public.

Organizers behind the fall festival include Fred Graham, Kim Graham and Jim Tingley, among others.

Northwest Bank is the signature sponsor for the event. Other festival sponsors include the Blaisdell Foundation, Bob Cummins Construction Co., Burns & Burns, Inc., Church of the Ascension, Dean Bauer, E&M Engineers and Surveyors, Kessel Construction Co., the Kiwanis Club, Luciano and Sons, Madeline Miles, Marshall Insurance, McKean County Animal Hospital, Ott & McHenry, Sundahl & Co. Insurance and the United Way of Bradford Area Inc.

The festival has been held for the past six years, according to Schwab, and has always been “an anticipated event” among the community.

“It used to be held on Sundays, but was moved to Saturday in order to coordinate with Pitt’s weekend festivities, and we’re very glad for the collaboration,” Schwab explained. “Despite the rainy weather last year, organization and preparation went smoothly and it’s all coming together again this year.”

There will be lots to see and do, and all are welcome to attend, Schwab added.

“Pumpkin Fest is really the first major event held in downtown to kick-off the fall season, which is also the beginning of the holiday season for not only local businesses, but members of the community looking to check-out what’s available downtown,” Schwab said. “It’s a good opportunity for families to come out — parents can come and shop, and children can take part in the variety of activities going on.

“It’s also set in the beginning of October because that’s when everyone seems to be the most excited for the change in seasons to officially begin. Many are already in the fall mood, so the fall festival is a timely celebration of that.”