Several hundred people thronged through Centralia’s City Square Park Saturday morning and afternoon, Saturday, Oct. 19.
As the sound of laughing children, country music and cheerful vendors filled the air, Amber Friedli, Robert Wright and Neva Wilkerson, organizers of Centralia’s second annual Pumpkin Festival were calling the day a success, despite the midafternoon showers.
“We love it,” said Jessica Miller, there with her husband Chad and their children Grayson and Jayden. “Just all the fun events for the kids and the fact that most of them are free, it makes for a great family attraction.”
Wright definitely liked what he saw as he looked up from his 84-gallon stainless steel vat full of 400-degree corn oil and custom popping corn at he and his wife Cheri’s “Fat Boy’s Kettle Corn,” stand. “Most definitely we are going to do this again… This year turned out better than we expected. Look at that bucket, there were 4,250 gumballs in that courtesy of HomeBank. The kids weren’t the only ones who loved them. Our sponsors have been great.”
Friedli agreed. “It had been good, so far very good,” she said at the festival wound down to its last few hours and people were still circling the square keeping the vendors busy. “I’ve already had several people asking about having booths next year. The only way this could be better is if it were sunny and in the 80s. But it’s still better than last year, the wind hasn’t blown down a single booth.”
She and Wright said if they had learned anything from this year, is the event needs still more children’s activities. “The more for the kids, the better,” Friedli said. “That is a lot of what brings people out, is something that puts a smile on their kids’ faces… And we’re already talking about additional food vendors.”
For the complete article, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.