Fall Things To Do As We Countdown To Halloween Day 192

Atlantic City Hosts Seafood Festival, Miss America, Triathlon, Pirates

The popular casino and resort community on the Jersey shore hosts a wide variety of entertainment on the weekend of September 13th and 14th, 2014.  Known as America’s Playground, Atlantic city hosts the Miss America pageant, a seafood festival, an international triathlon, and pirate adventure on this unique weekend of fun.

Seafood Festival Returns To Atlantic City September 13-14, 2014
Bader Field will host the Atlantic City Seafood Festival 2014.  Its second year should feature more than 100 restaurants.  See last years video on the Seafood Festival below.

This is now a city wide event featuring local restaurants, chefs, seminars, and sea faring experiences.  This is a family friendly event so arrive hungry, thirsty, and ready for fun.  Watch celebrity chefs, enjoy wonderful food, beers, and wines.  This year there are more amusements, more restaurants, and more entertainment.  Atlantic City is America’s playground on the New Jersey shore.  The festival dates were picked to enhance the experience of Atlantic City on the weekend of September 13-14.  The festival partners with the AC TRI (triathlon) event , Pirates and Privateers Weekend, and is ongoing during the Miss America Beauty Pageant.  The festival is free to enter but you may need to buy tickets for food, amusements, and some of the most popular event attractions.

Atlantic City Hosts Miss America Pageant September 14, 2014
Miss America 2015 will be crowned Sunday night, September 14th on live ABC TV.  The contestants will spend several days in Atlantic City participating in various activities including the swimsuit competition, talent show, and the Saturday shoe parade.  The Miss America organization supports the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.  The pageant began back in 1921.  Until recently it was always held in Atlantic City.  Between 2005 and 2012 it was held in Las Vegas.  It returned to Atlantic City in 2013.  Nina Davuluri (Miss New York) is the current reigning champion and first Indian American Miss America.  After a fun filled day at the seafood festival this pageant at Boardwalk Hall will make it a day to remember.

Atlantic City Triathlon Sponsored By Delmo Sports Runs September 14, 2014
Partnering with the seafood festival is one of the country’s best Triathlon events.  Atlantic City Triathlon involves four events.  The Sprint Triathlon event is an inspirational Para 1/4 mile swim, 10 mile bike race, and 5k run.  The featured event is an International Triathlon involving a 1 mile swim, 20 mile bike race, and 10k run.  The Aquabike involves a 1 mile swim and 20 mile bike race.  Also will be a Kid’s Race with a 1/2 mile run, 2 mile bike race, and 1/2 mile run.  Added this year is a Saturday Paddle AC 10k paddleboard race.

New Jersey Pirates & Privateer Weekend in Atlantic City
Also partnering with the seafood festival is the Pirates and Privateer weekend on September 13th and 14th, 2014.  See historical demonstrations such as The Crewe of the Archangel and Kingdom of Lucerne.  Do you want to participate?  This is one event where your pirate costume is welcome.  If you want to act out your pirate fantasy contact [email protected] .

Hope you enjoy these fall things to do as we countdown to Halloween Day 192.  Spend the weekend on the Jersey shore for lots of Atlantic City fun and excitement.

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Fall Things To Do As We Countdown To Halloween Day 193

Motorcycle Rallies and Shows Across America This Fall 2014

Motorcyle rallies are big festivals with lots of food, live bands, and of course motorcycle shows.  These shows are open to the general public.  Motorcycle riders include doctors, lawyers, teachers, and moms of all ages.  These events are aimed at the general riding public and not Hell’s Angels or The Outlaws.

Las Vegas Bikefest Happens in Nevada October 2-5, 2014
Check out this video on the Las Vegas Bikefest.

Bikefest brings nearly 40,000 motorcycle enthusiasts to Las Vegas this October for a great fun event.  This rally features world class music entertainment, Master Builder custom motorcycle contests, Hogs and Heifers kick-off party, stunt riding shows, bikini contest and more.  Located at the Cashman Center at 850 North Las Vegas Boulevard N, is the home to the 14th annual Bikefest.  Of course Las Vegas always has great gambling, world class shows, and knows how to throw a party.

Roar To The Shore – Wildwood NJ Bike Rally September 4-7, 2014
Wildwood works hard to put on a world class motorcycle rally for both the riding enthusiast and general public.  See stunt riding, live bands, and demonstrations at Roar To The Shore.  You are all invited to the Jersey shore for events such as the custom bike show, battle of the biker bands, rubber duck boardwalk ride, and a poker run.  Hundreds of vendors bring everything from clothes, food, souvenirs, and custom parts.  Lots of parties are featured at all the bars and restaurants in this summer resort town.  One of the largest free motorcycle rallies in the country.

Corpus Christi Bikefest “Roar By The Shore” October 10-12, 2014
Welcome to 20th Bikefest in Texas and the 2nd annual Corpus Christi Bikefest this October.  Rally will be held at the American Bank Center.  Major sponsors include Budweiser and Harley Davidson.  This is a family friendly event with lots of live bands, motorcycle contests, and great food.  They do everything bigger in Texas so expect lots of fun things to do.

Biketoberfest Returns to Daytona Beach October 16-19, 2014
Daytona Beach takes full advantage of the sunny beaches in Florida to put on a first class motorcycle rally.  Ride the A1A for scenic views, or through main street for the annual parade.  Biketoberfest Daytona Beach always has live music, great food, bike shows, demo rides, manufacturers displays, stunt shows, celebrities, bikini contest and lots more.  Don’t miss the motorcycle racing held at the Daytona International Speedway.

Thunder In The Rockies Bike Rally Returns to Loveland, Colorado
Enjoy 4 days of non-stop fun in Loveland, Colorado at this annual motorcycle event.  Sponsored by Thunder Mountain Harley Davidson this show happens August 29th through September 1st, 2014 over Labor Day weekend.  This 10th annual motorcycle rally is expect 45,000 visitors for live music, competitions, hundreds of motorcycle vendors, and great food.  Event is primarily located at 4250 Byrd Drive, Loveland.

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More Things To Do As We Countdown To Halloween Day 194

Air Shows This Fall Featuring The Blue Angels, Snowbirds, or Thunderbirds

Air Shows are some of the biggest and best festivals every September and October.  Pick a weekend and you are likely to find a wonderful air show featuring some of the best planes and pilots in the world.  Attractions feature such aerial acts as the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the USA Golden Nights skydivers, the British Sea Harrier, jet demonstrations, and famed pilots such as Julie Clark, John Klatt, Chuck Aaron, Greg Colyer, Dan Buchanan, Melissa Pemberton and many more.  Frequently you will find all types of entertainment including music, rock climbing, aircraft displays, autograph sessions, and lots of food vendors.

Cleveland National Air Show on Labor Day Weekend

Held annually over Labor Day weekend this is one of the biggest air shows.  Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland, Ohio is an ideal location for this spectacular event that kicks off the fall season.  The show runs from August 30 through September 1, 2014.  The Blue Angels are the feature attraction but there are lots more flying acts to see.

Blue Angels Highlight Selfridge ANG Base  Open House and Air Show
Selfridge Air National Guard Base will host this popular air show once again.  The base is just north of Detroit in Harrison Township.  The Blue Angels are featured and last performed at Selfridge in 2005.  This years event takes place September 6-7, 2014.  Expect lots of features, food, and entertainment.  Generally crowds are huge somewhere in the 200,000 people range.  I have seen this show in the past and it is one of the best.  Nothing like being up close to hear the roar of the planes and feel the wind.

Wings Over Wine Country Returns September 20-21, 2014
The Pacific Coast Air Museum will host a 2014 air show at the Charles M. Schultz Airport in Santa Rosa, California.  They typically have 10-14 featured flying events, a pancake breakfast, demonstrations, and the chance to sit in the cockpits of great jets and aircraft.  Bring your camera to this event.

Miramar Air Show Near San Diego Returns October 3-5, 2014
Featured in Top Gun, the Miramar base near San Diego is home to some of the best pilots in the Navy and Marines .  The air show is an annual event featuring in 2014 the Blue Angels, F-35B Joint Strike Fighter, and Patriots aerial team.

Wings and Waves Air Show Returns to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
This October 11th and 12th, 2014 join us at the Wings and Waves Air Show near Daytona Beach, Florida.  Featured attractions include the USAF Thunderbirds team, the Firebirds Xtreme aerobatics team, 4CE Formation Aerobatics, GEICO Skytypers Airshow Team, Lucas Oil Skydivers, and Mike Wiskus.  The show takes place on the shoreline in front of the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort.  The time runs from 11 am until 4 pm.

San Francisco Fleet Week Takes Place October 9-13, 2014
The fleet returns to San Francisco with a spectacular boat parade under the Golden Gate Bridge.  A new warship the USS America join the fleet.  Tour the ships and watch the air show.  Features include the Blue Angels, Sean D. Tucker, Team Oracle Patriots Jet Team, and Lucas Air Show.  The lowest advance Friday ticket is $20.  Saturday and Sunday tickets are $49 and $40 or more depending on joining the Flight Deck Club or Marine Green.

Memphis Air Show Returns October 18th & 19th, 2014
Visit the Millington Regional Jetport in mid October for the Memphis Air Show.  Featured are performances by Shockwave jet truck, Team Aerodynamix formation flying, Skip Stewart, Manfred Radius, Keith Davis, Otto The Helicopter, Dan Buchanan, Wayne Roberts and more.

Air shows are big festivals so expect lots of traffic and parking delays.  Get there early so you can see all the action.  These are exciting up close events with a certain noise and excitement factor.

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Fall Things To Do As We Countdown To Halloween Day 195

Farm Haunts For Scary Hayrides – Corn Mazes – Haunted Houses

Take a few minutes this fall to plan a night out at your local farm haunted attraction.  There are many farms which create a very scary and fun evening of entertainment.  Farming in October is all about Halloween, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and becoming more popular are really fun haunted house type attractions.  See a few of the best below.

Creepy Fun At Meadowbrook Haunted Cornfield in West Bend – Wisconsin

Meadowbrook Haunted Cornfield has planned an evening of fun for you.  Located in West Bend, the October attraction is open during the day for lots of activities and fun.  At night it becomes one of the scariest cornfields in the country.  They offer a nighttime bonfire complete with lots of scary ghost storytelling.  This is a full haunted attraction with fog machines, creatures of the night, live actors, and animatronics with 60 scary scenes and sound effects.  This is not an attraction for young kids.

Dark Side Haunted Adventure in Ixonia Wisconsin
Another highly acclaimed haunted attraction is Dark Side Haunted Adventure hosted by the Glacier Rock Farm.  The farm is over 100 acres with year round family fun.  In October, the farm turns into what may be the scariest attraction in Wisconsin.  They feature 5 attractions all based around the long standing story of death and mayhem met by all the owners of the farm since 1849.  People die, come up missing, and just disappear according to the legends.  Dark Side has two featured haunted houses, a haunted corn maze, trail, and unique nighttime hayride.  This is a not to be missed Wisconsin adventure in October.

Cox Farms Hosts Fields of Terror Every October
Virginia based Fields of Terror provides lots of scares for the folks in Centreville.  Expect this place to be a high startle haunted attraction.  The newest attraction is Dark Side Hayride:  Zombie Zoo.  A great place for teens and young adults.  Great entertainment plus a Cotton Candy Barn, Root Beer Barrel, and Last Chance Eats.  Definitely a fun party atmosphere.  The typical scare involves Zombies.  In fact they even have a zombie school.

Stockbridge Georgia Scares At Fear The Woods
Yule Forest puts on a haunted hayride, haunted barn, zombie paintball, trail, and reptile exhibit every October at Fear The Woods.  New this year The SKINNER SHACK , BURIED ALIVE attraction and watch out for the HEADLESS HORSEMAN!  Plan on spending the evening at this attraction where you can even shoot the pumpkin cannons.

Dead Man’s Farm Haunted House in Lenoir City Tennessee
This is no longer a working farm but rather an attraction built on an area full of paranormal activity.  The story suggests a horrible plague in the area left no survivors.  They advertise they are bloodier and sicker than ever.  They have a full mid-way of fire breathers, fire acts, bonfire, entertainment, and food concessions.  But the attraction is their haunted house and you will not be disappointed.

Hope you enjoy a brief look at some of the haunted farms we features on our haunt pages.  Keep coming back for more as we continue our Fall Things To Do Countdown To Halloween.

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More Things To Do As We Countdown To Halloween Day 196

Attend these BBQ Championship Events in September and October

Find a local barbeque contest around the United States this fall.  Lots of fun, great food, entertainment and something to put on your bucket list.  These are can’t miss fun events for September and October.  Up to 600 teams compete for state and national championships.  There are more than 30 events around the country.  We show a few of the best below.

American Royal World Series of Barbecue
Check out this video on the Kansas City BBQ competition.

Held in Kansas City on October 2-5, 2014 is the 35th Annual American Royal World Series of Barbeque.  The Royal is the largest barbeque contest in the world with over 500 teams competing.  Prize money is around $80,000.  There are four meat categories with a professional invitational event and also an open event for anyone.  See the junior and other events.  Also find great food, cooking demos, music, fireworks, kids fun, and a whole lot more.  Event starts for the public on Friday.  The competition is held in the Kansas City Stockyard District and covers 25 acres.  The American Royal is a non-profit organization supporting youth and education since 1899.

Jim Beam BBQ Classic in Springfield, Kentucky
Spend October 3-4, 2014 at the Jim Beam Barbecue Classic, the Kentucky State championship contest.

The Great Miller Lite Chilli & BBQ Cook-Off in Conyers, Georgia
The 35th annual cook off will be held on October 4th, 2014 at the Georgia International Horse Park.  Tickets are $10 and the gates open at 10 pm.  Fun includes both cooking competitions, vendor booths, kids zone, and sponsor booths.

USA Barbeque Championship – Laughlin, Nevada
With over $110,000 in prize money, the USA Barbecue Championship is one of the largest events anywhere.  Organized by Smoke on the Water Productions you can expect more than 30,000 visitors and 140 teams.  There are amateur cook-offs, kids zone, car show, live entertainment, and grilling demonstrations.  Event takes place at Don Laughlin’s Riverside Resort on October 30-November 1, 2014.

Tilley Harley -Davidson Biker Blues BBQ Rally and BBQ Classic
This 4th annual event will be held on September 19-20th, 2014 in Salisbury, North Carolina.  Last year over 6,000 people and 72 teams attended.  Event includes great sponsors, live entertainment, and lots of other fun for the motorcycle enthusiast.

Best BBQ Chef Competition – September 28, 2014 – New London, CT
This is the state of Connecticut’s Kansas City Barbeque Society state championship.  Winner goes to the Royal in Kansas City.  See the BBQ competition, live entertainment, food demonstrations, food from local restaurants, and interact with the chefs.

Jack Daniel World Championship BBQ October 25, 2014
Held annually for 25 years in Lynchburg, Tennessee is Jack Daniel World Championship BBQ.  Tour the Jack Daniel distillery, enter the hot dog and other contests, enjoy good food and entertainment and watch some of the world’s best grillers compete for prize dollars.


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Fall Things To Do As We Countdown To Halloween Day 197

What Makes Knott’s Scary Farm So Much Halloween Fun?

Knott’s Berry Farm is a California theme park near Los Angeles.  It began as a family business in the 1920′s and became a theme attraction in the early 1940′s.  Today it is one of the largest theme parks in the country.  The Halloween attraction Knott’s Scary Farm began in 1973.  Here is a short video about some of the Halloween activities at Knott’s.

Now part of Cedar Fair this Halloween event continues its forty year history of quality family entertainment.  The Scary Farm in the month of October generates so much activity it is responsible for nearly half the annual revenue for the whole park.  The theme is Nowhere to Hide and once you are inside the park the mazes, shows, rides, actors, and haunts really bring the scares to you.

Lots of Mazes at Knott’s Scary Farm
It is hard to miss the many mazes that are an integral part of the attraction.  Some of the best are Trapped The New Experiment,  Black Magic, and Mirror Mirror.  They even have a maze through the old west town and another feeding of the popularity of a zombie apocalypse.  Overall I think there are fourteen scary mazes in the park.  Don’t forget to go through Uncle Willy’s Slaughterhouse.

Six State Shows Provide Lots of Horror and Humor
Entertainment is the name of the game at Knott’s Scary Farm.  They have six live stages full of events.  A scheduling nightmare to hit them all in just one night.  Last year shows were Carny Trash, Cursed, The Hanging, Possessed, Blood Drums, and Elvira’s Sinema Séance.  Elvira is back at Knott’s following a 12 year absence.  At age 62 she still brings everything you would expect from the Mistress of the Dark.  Always a fun show.  In fact all the shows are good fun and really set Knott’s apart from other just haunted houses.

Scare Zones Provide Lots of Fright
Live actors get a change in designated Scare Zones to bring in your face scares right up to you on the street.  Some can really pester you while some are just scary looking and others to jump out at you when you least expect it.  The park employs more than a hundred a night who roam the scare zone.

Read These Reviews For The Inside Look on Knott’s Scary Farm
I recommend reading the Theme Park Adventure review by Ric West titled “Knott’s Scary Farm 2013 Shows”.  Another great review of the entire attraction is by the folks over at the Scare Zone.

Summary of Halloween at Knott’s Scary Farm
Disney, Universal, and Cedar Fair all vying for Halloween visitors in the Los Angeles area you can expect these fabulous venues to come up with great entertainment with high prices.  Universal is probably a little more crowded with longer lines and more of an edge to their frights.  Disney as you might expect is more family friendly on the scare side.  Knott’s probably falls in between with lots of entertainment shows and monsters roaming the midways.  The mazes are amazing.  Go with the expectation to have lots of fun and you won’t be disappointed.  Its scary fun but not meant to be gross, sick horror like you might find at Blackout or Alone.


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Fall Things To Do As We Countdown To Halloween Day 198

Oktoberfest In April Oktoberfest Type Celebrations Around The Country

Are there really spring oktoberfests in the U.S.?  I just received an email about one right here in my home town of Philadelphia.  A little research finds several more spring events such as Fruhlingsfest, Maifest, Siftugfest, and Springtoberfest.

Spring O-K-T-O-B-E-R-F-E-S-T in Philadelphia April 26, 2014

What began as a small dance performance back in 1925 has transformed into the award winning Gebirgstrachten-Verein-Almrausch Schuhplattler dance club.  Saturday, April 26th they will hold their 89th STIFTUGSFEST celebration.  If there can be Christmas in July events then this is the equivalent of an Oktoberfest in April celebration.  The GTV Almrausch dance club has performed at numerous events all over the east coast.  They are well known in the Philadelphia community for their annual dance in the Mummers Parade.  Music Oom-Pah is provided by THE CONTINENTALS.  Doors open at 6 pm at The Cannstatter located at 9130 Academy Road, Philadelphia.  So dress up in your lederhosen or dirindls and has some beer, bratwurst, great food, and dance the night away.  Contact RoseMary at 856-482-6745 for ticket information.

Fager’s Island Springtoberfest Battle Of The Brews
On Saturday, April 26, 2014 the popular Fager’s Island will host their annual Springtoberfest event.  Cost is just $35 in advance for this all you can German style menu complete with a tasting glass for more than 50 craft beers to sample.  Event is located at 201 60th Street, Ocean City, Maryland.  Sponsors include Yards Brewing, Dogfish Head Craft Brewed, 3rd Wave Brewing, Fin City Brewing, and more.

Sonnenalp brings Bavarian Springtoberfest to Vail Colorado
Popular resort hotel Sonnenalp in Vail hosted their annual Bavarian Springtoberfest on April 12th.

Tomball Texas German Heritage Festival in March
The annual Oktoberfest in March celebration was held on March 28-30, 2014.  This carnival and music festival is complete with lots of beer drinking and crafts.  It is one of the largest spring celebrations in the country.

Fruhlingsfest Spring Festival is Little Sister to Oktoberfest in Germany
Heurich House Museum in Washington, DC. will host their first annual Fruhlingsfest on April 26th, 2014.  The museum was the former home to Christian Heurich and was known as the Brewmaster’s Castle.  Heurich Brewing was one of the largest employers in Washington during the late 19th century.  The event includes a scavenger hunt, Maypole dancing, face painting, and relay races.  Of course there will be great beers, a pig roast, ice cream and German themed music.

Fruhlingsfest or Spring Festival Held At Canstatter Wasen in Stuttgart
Stuttgart holds the Canstatter Volksfest in October which draws nearly 4 million people to their Oktoberfest type event.  Their spring event is Fruhlingsfest which runs April 17th to May 9th, 2014.  This is a huge German event including roller coasters, ferris wheels, a free-fall tower and of course the traditional German food and dance.

I know we did not hit them all but there are plenty of German heritage festivals around the country all year.  Hope you find one near you and enjoy the music, dance, food, and drink.

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Fall Things To Do As We Countdown To Halloween Day 199

What City Deserves Title of Pumpkin Capital?

Pick the city you feel deserves the title of Pumpkin Capital.  Is it Morton with their Libby Pumpkin processing plant?  Is it Floydada that grows lots and lots of pumpkins per acre?  How about Half Moon Bay with their rich history and pumpkin festival?  Of course Circleville and Keene could also make a claim given their pumpkin celebrations.

National Pumpkin Day is October 26, 2014
Mark your calendars so you don’t miss the National Pumpkin Day on October 26th.  October has lots of important days such as Halloween (31st), Pumpkin Cheesecake Day (21st), Farmers Day (12th), and World Food Day (16th).  These celebrities have their birthday on October 26th:  Hillary Clinton, Keith Urban, Pat Sajak, Jaclyn Smith, Rita Wilson, and Seth MacFarlane.

What Cities Claim to be the Pumpkin Capital?
There are at least three cities that claim the title of Pumpkin Capital.  Half Moon Bay, California lies on the coast between San Jose and San Francisco.  Morton, Illinois is just east of Peoria.  Floydada, Texas located near Lubbock also lays claim to the title.  What is your favorite?

Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival October 18-19, 2014

This is the 44th year for this fall classic pumpkin festival in California.  Do not miss the Safeway Pumpkin Weigh-Off, the variety of bands, food, entertainment, contests, and pumpkin pies, ice cream, pancakes, cheesecakes, and Harvest Ale.  Also watch the costume contest, haunted barn, battle of the bands, and craftsmen.

Floydada Claims Pumpkin Capital Title with Punkin Day Festival
Imagine the small town of Floydada with just 1500 acres of pumpkins producing 50,000 pounds of pumpkins per acres or approximately 15-20 million pumpkins.  The quantity and variety are unmatched for a similar size acreage anywhere in the country.  The Punkin Day event began back in 1987.  It runs the second weekend in October.  This year it is on October 10-11, 2014.

Morton, Illinois Cans 80% of World’s Processed Pumpkins
Libby Pumpkins based in Morton, Illinois is the largest processor of pumpkins in the world.  They sponsor the Morton Pumpkin Festival which runs in 2014 on September 10-13, 2014.  The festival has run for 48 years.  With Libby’s help, Morton lays claim to the Pumpkin Capital of the World title.  Illinois produces more pumpkins than any state in the world.  They feature a wide variety of entertainment and cooking clinics.  Most of the pumpkins used for cooking at this festival are processed.

Jack Creek Farms Is A Fifth Generation Family Farm
This is a rather unique pumpkin producing farm and popular country store located in Templeton, California.  The farm produces over 40 different varieties of pumpkins plus wheat, honey, gourds, peas, artichokes, apples, beans, pears, onions and more.  They feature seasonal events including cider tasting, a pumpkin patch, a hay maze, and are an ideal place for birthday parties, farm tours, school groups, and of course Halloween activities.  As farming has changed the store and pick you own entertainment have become a major cash source for this once traditional grain farm.  Pumpkins are now the number one source of income.  Say hello to Becky and Mandy when you visit Jack Creek Farms this fall.

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Fall Things To Do As We Countdown To Halloween Day 200

Halloween Pumpkins | Fun Festivals, Carving, Recipes, Facts, and History

World Championship Pumpkin Chunkin October 24-26, 2014
Have you ever seen a pumpkin shot from an air cannon?  Check out this video about the guys who take shooting a pumpkin seriously.

The World Championships are held at Royal Farms, 18657 Sussex Highway, in Bridgeville, Delaware.  This is a big time contest with entries in adult and teen categories.  Bring your air cannon, catapult, centrifugal, human power, or torsion machine.  The big air cannons send the pumpkins well over 4000 feet.  The three day  event includes pumpkin cooking contests, chili contest, and beauty pageants.  John Ellsworth and his buddies started this contest back in 1986 for fun over twenty years ago.  Last year over 20,000 people watched the event live.  Annually it is picked up by the Discovery Channel stations and played on television Thanksgiving night.  Live or on TV it is exciting to watch all the contraptions.  Today the big cannons can cost over $200,000.  I put the link to the World Championship Pumpkin Chunkin website on our Funtober Favorites page.

Fun Facts About Halloween Pumpkins
Before Columbus, pumpkins were not a native fruit in Europe.  Jack O’Lanterns were carved from turnips or gourds.  Pumpkins were native to Central America for over 5000 years before being brought back to Europe by the French explorer Jacques Cartier.  Pumpkins are a fruit and really a member of the squash family which includes melons, cucumbers, gourds and more.  The Irish are credited with bringing pumpkin carving to America.  Pumpkin flowers and seeds are edible.  It generally takes 80-120 days for a pumpkin to go from seed to grown fruit.  Most pumpkins in the United States are ripened and used in October.  Funtober has more information on pumpkins here.

World Record Breaking Pumpkin Weighs In At 2032 Pounds
Tim Mathison grew this giant pumpkin in 2013 to set a world record at 2032 pounds.  In 1993 the world record size was 893 pounds.  Modern farming and agriculture techniques have more than double pumpkin sizes in the last 20 years.

world record pumpkin size

Pumpkin Weighs 2032 pounds photo at BigPumpkins.com

If you want to grow giant pumpkins you need to start with great genetic seeds developed over years for size.  Next add the right soil.  The really big pumpkins are usually started as seeds in a greenhouse and transplanted outdoors to give them more time to grow.  You will need to keep various mixtures of fertilization.  Allow the vine to grow before pollination.  Then lots of water and pruning.  Once the patch is developed then cut the ends and bury them into the ground.  The fruit in season can grow as much as 30-50 pounds in one day.  If lucky with the proper temperature and right amount of shading you might get a 100-200 pound pumpkin.  It usually takes years of farming to gain the skills needed to grow the really giant pumpkins.  Check out Big Pumpkins or Pumpkinnook for more information.

The Purple Pumpkin Blog by Michelle Ordever
Find this wonderful blog listed on our Funtober Favorites webpage.  Michelle is a web designer and partner in a party planning business.  She lives in Essex, United Kingdom.  Her blog has fantastic recipes, crafts, reviews and travel articles.  She is one of the top bloggers in England.  I love the trip reports she wrote on her travels to Disney World.

Circleville Pumpkin Show “The Greatest Free Show On Earth”
The small town of Circleville, Ohio is located just south of Columbus.  It has a population of 12,000 which has over 400,000 visitors to their annual downtown pumpkin festival.  This year the Circleville Pumpkin Show runs October 15th – 18th, 2014.  The four day event features seven different pumpkin parades with 50 bands and 40 floats.  There are over 300 food and craft vendors with 30 plus amusement carnival rides.  Expect to find lots of band music, stage acts, pageants, pumpkin pie eating, and even hog calling contests.  This is one spectacular event that started back in 1903.

Circleville Pumpkin Show Water Tower

Photo Courtesy of Circleville Pumpkin Show

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Fall Things To Do As We Countdown To Halloween Day 201

Variety of Fall Festivals Announce Dates for Upcoming Events

Guess Who Is A Community Partner in the Texas Book Festival?
The Texas Book Festival is a free to the public annual festival in Austin, Texas.  It runs October 25-26, 2014.  They feature great food and authors with all donations and proceeds going to fund grants to local libraries.  Last year some of the food vendors were Hey Cupcakes, Amy’s Ice Cream, Heros Gyros, Crefe Crazy, BBQ’Cue Court, Millers Smokehouse, The Blue Ox, and The Peached Tortilla.  Recently the festival made a $60,000 grant to local libraries.  Former President and Mrs. George W. Bush are listed as Community Partner sponsors of the organization.  Laura Bush is credited with founding the festival to promote literature, libraries, and literacy in Texas.  Since 1996, the festival has donated more than $2.5 million to libraries.

Wisconsin Kicks Off The “From The Land Festival”
Green Lake, Wisconsin, is the home October 18-19 for the “From The Land” festival featuring various craft making and artisans.  Learn about and observe pine needle art, candle making, photography, folk art painting, and a dozen other fun crafts.  Folksinger and songwriter Jim Anger will provide music both days.

LOCKN’ Festival Features Star Studded Music Lineup
The Interlocking Music Festival held at the Oak Ridge Farm in Arrington, Virginia announced that Umphrey’s McGee will perform.  The festival is held September 4-7, 2014.  Already featured performances include Willie Nelson, Phil Lesh and Friends, The Allman Brothers Band, Widespread Panic with Steve Winwood and many more.  Sign up for a chance to win two tickets each month.  The festival has a little of everything from country to jazz to gospel.  Grateful Gospel and Keller Williams are also scheduled.

Hollywood Black Film Festival is Canceled
Unfortunately the 16 year annual event has been canceled for 2014.  We hope it returns next year.

Soul, Funk, and Reggae Returns To The Streets of Asheville
Goombay will return in 2014.  The African-Caribbean street festival will be held at Pack Square Park on September 12-14, 2014.  After missing 2013, the organizers are working with YMI Cultural center and Jet Up Productions to put on this annual event.

Asheville Also Hosts Brew Grass Festival in September
One of the best beer festivals in the country is also held annually in Asheville, NC.  Don’t miss this music and beer festival.  Details have yet to be announced for 2014.

North Carolina Hosts World Beer Festival
In case you missed it last year, the annual World Beer Festival comes to Durham and Raleigh in 2014.  The Durham event is held in October with details yet to be announced.  The Raleigh event took play on April 4th.

Oktoberfest Comes Back to Ironton, Ohio
Mark your calendars for October 10-12, 2014 for the return of Ocktoberfest to Ironton.  See the Zinzinnati Beer Band for lots of polka music and fun.  Friends of Ironton sponsor this annual event.

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