03 October 2009

pumpkin festivus, i heart thee

i'm from an impossibly small town, and i have lived here my entire life...with the exception of my first few years (in which i lived in an even smaller town right beside the one i'm in now) and a five year stint across the river in the southern most point of ohio while i went to college. and, now, i'm back.

our town has a fairly microscopic existance; milton, a blip on the state map. everyone knows everyone here. plenty of "how are so-and-so's?" and "good to see you's!"...which i have come to appreciate (though at times, knowing EVERYTHING is a little less than ideal). the main road is partially tree-lined and is composed of a whopping two red lights. there's a handful of fast food staples, but the rest are yummy local mainstays (such as the former granny k's) and a couple of international eateries for the culturally inclined...which consists of a chinese buffet and a tiny mexican restaurant. aside from the bare necessities of small town life, milton is rich in consignment shops, antique stores, a renowned glass factory, and one sprawling flea market hot spot complete with a delicious farmer's market. our town has an old soul. no malls, fancy boutiques, night clubs, or snazzy diners around these parts. i say all this, but keep in mind the town is right smack dab between the capital city and a college town, so there's no shortage of adventure within a few minutes drive either direction. it's just country enough.

what our town DOES have is the annual wv pumpkin festival. go on, smirk if you will. but milton rolls out the proverbial red carpet for this grandest of fall festivals. those with houses or shops along main street dress up their yards in halloween spook-dom, harvest themes, and pumpkin decor of all fashions. day one of the festival, and everyone is out and about, sweeping up the side walk. pumpkin flavor everything is abundant throughout town, along with little yard sales and craft booths.
it feels really exciting to see our little town come alive.

i quite literally grew up intertwined with ye ole pumpkin fest. i won the beauty pagaent at age four (eat your heart out)...the same day i "met" my dad for the first time. that's right, at the pumpkin festival. and i have the trio of painted wooden kittens he bought me to prove it. anyway, i have been in the parade numberous times, by float and by horse. i have walked to the fair grounds for many a field trip in search of ribbon garlands, oddly shaped gourds, and honey sticks with the hopes that my heart throb would snag me a single rose (or two if he really loved me!) from ruby, the florist, who used to have a little flower booth. sigh.
then, once upon two years ago, where did my husband ask my mom for permission to marry me?
while strolling through one of the craft tents at the pumpkin fest, of course...where else?
 oh yes, i love the pumpkin festival. and our town.

if you are ever in milton ,wv, the first weekend of october and have a hankering for some pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin butter, or perhaps some pumpkin fudge, please stop by the festival. there's folksy music and heaping fair food for you and a hay maze for the little pumpkinettes (among other things).
maybe you'll even spot the giant pumpkin or catch a glimpse of the elusive pumpkin queen.
who am i kidding? you'll definitely spot the giant pumpkin!

here's how paul and i (plus some cousins and a dear friend) spent our thursday night:

{{ no, your monitor is not deceiving you...that is an actual 1140 lb vegetable }}

all that and a pumpkin mushroom on top.

{{home sweet home}}

happy festivus, ya'll!

1 comment:

  1. Love it! My hubby and I planted our first pumpkin patch this year, and we are hooked. Every year we have huge Halloween blow-out, I am a little Autumn obsessed. Lovely stories and pics.