Pumpkin Days is right around the corner in Orient and those organizing the event have a few new things up their sleeves for this year’s celebration that has them especially excited.
The celebration will be Friday, Sept. 28 and Saturday, Sept. 29. At the core of the festival is a 4 p.m. parade Saturday, though planning committee chairman Ryan Frederick says there will be plenty of other events going on in Orient throughout the weekend for people to enjoy.
“I think everybody looks forward to Pumpkin Days, when it’s going on, what’s going on, all the stuff,” Frederick said. “I think people get excited just because it’s a pretty special weekend for us in Orient.”
Friday night’s activities center around the Orient Betterment and Development Dinner at the fire station, which will happen at the same time as the Pumpkin Days 5K Run/1-Mile Walk. Donations from the run/walk will benefit new Christmas lights Orient is purchasing. Entertainment will take the stage that evening, too.
Saturday morning will feature the Orient Women’s Club Sand Volleyball Tournament, vendors and a breakfast served by the fire department. At lunchtime will be a Chicken Noodle Dinner at the Orient Plymouth Congregational Church.
“If we have Pumpkin Days for no other reason, it’s for the Chicken and Noodles Dinner,” Frederick said. “If you thought you liked Chicken and Noodles before, you’ve never had this because, in the world of Chicken and Noodles, this is as good as it gets.”
After lunch Saturday will be a Youth Pedal Pull administered by the Orient Men’s Club, an All-School Reunion at the Methodist church, the parade, a beer garden and barbecue dinner, a bags tournament and a street dance featuring the band Cattywompus from Creston.
Cattywompus won’t be the only musical act playing on the Pumpkin Days stage. In fact, Frederick said a point of emphasis this year for his committee has been to bring more music into Pumpkin Days.
Two new events this year for after the parade will be a Pumpkin Cooking Contest, a Hot Dog Eating Contest and a Pie Eating Contest.
“That’s the 30,000 foot view of the schedule,” Frederick said. “Pray for good weather. It’ll go on rain or shine. I’ve postponed Pumpkin Days once and I’ll never do it again. We hope everyone comes to town. The official schedule will be in the newspapers that week.”