The Great Pumpkin is Real, and You'll Find It in Altoona
Thursday, September 12, 2019
Image: VasenkaPhotography | CC BY 2.0
Grab your gourds, ladies and gents, because the Giant Pumpkin Festival is coming to Altoona! On Sunday, Sept. 29 from 9am-4pm, farmers and gardeners of all ages can submit their pumpkins in an official, GPC (Great Pumpkin Commonwealth) weigh-off for the possibility to win cash prizes for plumpest pumpkin (as well as for the prettiest). Exhibitors must be on site and in line by 10am on the 29th to register their entries, and all exhibitors must be present for the competition unless their absence was pre-approved.
The pumpkin weigh-off itself goes from 11am-2pm, during which all GPC rules and regulations will apply. The top five pumpkin growers will be announced during the 3pm intermission at the concert stage, so if you want your prize, you must be present.
And if you're not interested in competitive pumpkin-growing, there are also plenty of non-pumpkin related events to enjoy. Registration for Runn'n on the River, the 5K run/walk, begins at 9am, and the race lasts from 10 to 11am. The vendor market and food trucks can be found dispersed throughout the festival grounds, and they will be available from 11am-4pm. The concert will last from 2-4pm on the main stage, but the act is yet to be announced, so keep an eye on their website for more details.
As for parking, don't even worry about it! River Prairie Park provides plenty of options for free on-street and off-street parking. The whole festival will operate alongside Party in the Prairie, Altoona's annual celebration marking the beginning of autumn. For more information, check out rpgiantpumpkinfest.com.
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