Pumpkin festivals are one of my favourite fall events. These extravaganzas offer plenty of fun-filled activities, unique pumpkin art and loads of scrumptious pumpkin-inspired food.
From the biggest pumpkin festival in the world to smaller pumpkin carnivals, they all have one thing in common: they are FUN. These festivals are brimming with pumpkin-filled adventures, competitions and cuisine that not just kids will love, but adults too.
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The first time I went to a pumpkin festival was a few years ago and I must admit I was reluctant. At the time I was convinced that the festival was for kids and wouldn’t have anything that would interest me. I never thought I would enjoy it quite as much as I did.
Since then I have made it a point to visit a pumpkin festival whenever I can. I was also excited to learn that there were many similar festivals in other places in the world besides Germany.
Here are 5 pumpkin festivals from around the world:
1 Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival, Germany
The largest pumpkin festival in the world happens annually at Schloss Ludwigsburg in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Schloss Ludwigsburg is located just 17km north of Stuttgart and is the perfect place for a day trip, especially for the festival.
You can enjoy a selection of events that include live music, pumpkin carving, pumpkin smashing and plenty of great food and wine stalls. The festival is well-known for its amazing pumpkin art that follows the theme each year. Expect to see life-sized pumpkin figures that range from animals to sea mammals and even dinosaurs, depending on the theme of the year.
One of my favourite finds at the festival was pumpkin wine, which may sound crazy but I promise it’s delicious. The festival happens each year between late August and early December and is themed. For 2021 the theme is Under the Sea. While you’re there, I highly recommend taking a tour of the palace as it’s one of the most beautiful in Germany.
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2 The Great Pumpkin Carnival in Hamilton, New Zealand
When it comes to pumpkin festivals, this is not one of the oldest, but it’s one of the fastest-growing and the most fun. It’s also home to many firsts in New Zealand. In 2021, the biggest pumpkin competition was won by a contestant with a huge 844kg pumpkin. That’s pretty big as far as pumpkins go.
The festival happens in Hamilton annually and offers fun for the whole family. While there, you should try out the pumpkin boats that you can row on Turtle Lake or take part in one of the other fun races that happen on the day. Other events include a pumpkin baking competition, pumpkin art creation and plenty of inspiring food trucks where you can pick up something yummy. The carnival happens each year around March, so if you’re in the neighbourhood stop by for a day of fun.
3 The Goomeri Pumpkin Festival, Queensland Australia
Probably one of the most famous fall events in Australia, the Goomeri Pumpkin Festival was established in 1997 to help increase morale in a drought-stricken region. Since then it has grown into one of the largest festivals in the country and the home of The Great Australian Pumpkin Roll. The event is just rolling pumpkins down a hill, but it looks and sounds like loads of fun. There are plenty of kids activities and fun things to do for the entire family.
You can also expect a pumpkin-inspired parade, great food and craft stalls and plenty of pumpkin-inspired competitions. The competitions even include one called the Pumpkin Power Shot Put where contestants throw a pumpkin as far as they can. This carnival usually happens on a weekend in late May each year.
4 Avon Valley’s Pumpkin Patch Festival, Bristol England
This fairly new extravaganza happens each year at the Avon Valley Pumpkin Patch during October. From picking pumpkins in the pumpkin patch to pop-up bars, street food and exciting pumpkin paintball, this is the festival to be at if you’re in the area.
There are plenty of things to keep adults and kids busy for hours at a time. You can even enjoy some Halloween-inspired activities like Scarecrow Shoot-em. In 2021, this pumpkin festival will take place from the 8th to the 27th of October.
5 The Great Pumpkin Farm Festival, Clarence, New York
There are plenty of pumpkin festivals to visit in the U.S that offer great activities and atmosphere. The Great Pumpkin Farm Festival in Clarence, New York is one of the most popular though and is well worth a visit. The festival is a mix of fall fun and Halloween spectacles that kids and adults will love. Some of the best activities include a ride on a zombie paintball train, the boo barn that will leave you shaking, and a super fun pumpkin cannon.
There are also plenty of food stalls in the pumpkin palace, where you will find pumpkin-inspired cuisine as well as an amusement park and an exciting hay maze to keep you busy. It’s the perfect place to spend a day or weekend, whether you have kids or not. The festival takes place annually between September to late October.
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What to Try if you can’t Visit a Pumpkin Festival
If you can’t make it to a pumpkin festival near you, you can still bring some pumpki festivities home with you. Check out these great pumpkin products:
There is nothing quite like a warm spiced pumpkin drink in fall. This flavoured ground coffee will fill your home with pumpkin festival aromas. Pair it with your favourite spiced pumpkin pie and enjoy. You can also purchase this flavour in Keurig compatible pods.
There is no better way to make your house smell like sugar, spice and all things fall than by lighting a pumpkin scented candle. Yankee candles are some of my favourites and you can’t go wrong with this warm and wonderful scent.
Not a coffee lover? No problem. This pumpkin favoured tea is the perfect alternative and is the perfect fall indulge. You’ll feel all the good pumpkin festival vibes from the comfort of your home.
There is nothing quite like novelty foods to make any themed dinner perfect. These are not only shaped like squash but are also pumpkin flavoured.
If you’re a fan of pumpkin pie, this spiced pudding by JELL-O is perfect. You can make it on its own as a dessert or use it as a topping for your spiced pumpkin pie. Either way, you’ll love the festive feel it brings to your home.