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    An example of a pumpkin folk, this one looking very much like Petawawa Mayor Bob Sweet. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

    Pumpkin Folk with Mayor Bob Sweets face painted on in a kayak
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    Valerie Hyska, Petawawa Ramble Festival Committee member, announces the second annual Petawawa Ramble Festival, featuring Pumpkin Folk. The festival will be held from Oct. 15 to Oct. 18. This year, the Ramble will allow residential homes to take part in the pumpkin folk displays. Prizes will be given for the houses with the best setups. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

    Valerie Hyska with projected screen with Petawawa Ramble logo on it behind her



Pumpkin Folks return to town for annual Petawawa Ramble

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Thursday September 3, 2020

In just a few weeks, the town will play host to some strange orange visitors during its second annual Petawawa Ramble Festival.

These pumpkin-headed folks will be cropping up in front of businesses and homes throughout the town, but do not fear an invasion. These friendly gourds are just decorative and part of the harvest-themed fun.

The pumpkin folk are the signature trademark piece of this fall festival, which will be held on Oct. 15 to Oct. 18. The multiple pumpkin folk displays throughout town will hopefully encourage people to get into the fall spirit and out of the house to take a self-guided tour.

This annual festival is in its second iteration and has grown and adapted to the current ‘new normal’ of COVID-19.

Many events have been cancelled this year, but by modifying the festival to be slightly more socially distant, organizers have been able to continue forward.

At the heart of the idea of this festival, it is about social distancing,” said Valerie Hyska, one of the Ramble Committee members. “It’s about spending time with your family, your immediate group of people, travelling around the community looking at displays and going to businesses. Just engaging with your family.”
Participating businesses will be added to a map that people can pick up and follow. Residential households involved will not be on the map to preserve privacy. There will be prizes, however, for homes with the best displays.

“This is really a new component to our Petawawa Ramble,” Hyska said. “Year two, we really wanted to bring in the residents of the town and let them participate by inviting them to put out a display on their private property on their house.”

The judged residential harvest displays will be up from Sept. 28 to Oct. 25, but people must register by Sept. 18.

“This part will be more of a self-discovery of your neighbourhood,” said Hyska, adding it will be an extra something for walkers to enjoy.

There will also be five intersections in town decorated with harvest displays organized by local businesses.
But looking at fall splendour isn’t the only activity during this festival.

There will be an outdoor music show, Pints and Gourds. Tickets are limited, and groups will be separated from one another to maintain safety standards. During the show, there will be live music, craft beer and food.

Local businesses will also have their own smaller activities within their stores, such as providing free apple cider to clients, and exclusive sales.

The event is made possible through the support of local sponsors. The title sponsor is Mike’s Hardware Doors & So Much More. The Pumpkin and Gourds sponsor is H&H Construction, the Business Pumpkin Folks sponsor is McKie Pools and Spas, and the Residential Pumpkin Folks sponsor is Cindy Sell. Other sponsors have donated gift certificates to the prize baskets.

For more infomration, visit https://www.petawawa.ca/events/business-events/petawawa-ramble/