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Michael couldn’t smash PumpkinFest: Downtown Havana’s annual festival rescheduled for this weekend

Herald Archive Photo

In the photo above, Megan Choutupalli carefully applies a henna tattoo to the arm of Tiyah Walton, a Cairo resident and one of thousands of visitors who flocked to downtown Havana last year for its 18th annual PumpkinFest. Shutting down electricity and leaving rampant storm damage in its wake, Hurricane Michael forced the Havana Merchants Association to cancel the downtown tradition earlier this month – for the first time in its nearly two-decade-long history. But what seemed at first like a depressing tale of Michael’s long list of victims is now poised to be a shining example of the Havana community’s resilience and spirit of gratitude. PumpkinFest number 19 is back on – food, fun, festivities and all – this Saturday, October 27, beginning at 10 a.m. Organizers ask festival-goers to donate $3 per adult, $2 per child for admission, but all will be admitted, regardless of whether a donation is made. A portion of the proceeds will go to hard-hit Chattahoochee residents. The crowd favorite “doggie costume contest” is at 11 a.m. The bipedal version – i.e. “human” costume contest - is at 4 p.m. PumpkinFest lasts well into the evening, with food, entertainment and more under what organizers say they hope will be a “starlit Havana sky.”

By Brian Dekle