HUDSON – Children – many clad in spooky Halloween costumes – filled the Morgan Bowl for an afternoon of pony and trackless train rides, magic and, of course, pumpkins during Saturday’s annual Pumpkin Festival.
The festival was initially created by Hudson’s Recreation Department to break the world record for the most carved and lit pumpkins in one place. The town was unsuccessful in topping Keene, New Hampshire’s tally of 28,952 gourds.
Pumpkins are no longer the sole focus on the festival, but they still play a big role. Children carved, displayed and took home about 100 pumpkins.
Trevor Middleton, 12, carved the first pumpkin of the afternoon and called it one of his favorite parts of the festival, which celebrated its 20th year. He also looked forward to spending time with his friends.
Snacking on a s’more, Brynn Concannon, 10, was excited to play the many games of chance.
“I like the Pumpkin Festival because it’s really fun and it’s for everyone, even if you’re a baby or a grandparent,” said Concannon, of Hudson.
Concannon and her grandmother, Judy Wall, planned to spend the whole afternoon at the festival and end the night by watching the fireworks display.
The focal point of the festival these days is bringing awareness to local nonprofit organizations. More than two dozen organizations provided candy and games for children, while informing adults about their mission.
“It’s the easiest way for us to get out in front of the community and tell people what we’re doing,” said Kevin Santos, a member of the River’s Edge Arts Alliance board of directors. “Events like this are critical.”
Justin Provencher poured apple cider and discussed the Hudson Rotary Club’s mission with attendees.
“It’s just to get the name out,” he said.
Provencher called the fest a longstanding tradition for many families.
“It’s something I grew up coming to,” he said. “It’s a fun night out.”
Jeff Malachowski can be reached at 508-490-7466 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @JmalachowskiMW.