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Top things to do during this weekend’s PumpkinFest

This Saturday, October 8, the downtown Havana will be transformed into an autumnal elysium, with pumpkins, fall decor, visiting vendors, and downtown merchants paying homage to the changing of the season.

If you are looking for a fun day of festival-attending, celebrating autumn, eating at local restaurants, and mingling with the locals downtown…look no further than Havana’s annual PumpkinFest.

While you are downtown for the festival, there are a few fun activities or interesting stops you may want to add to your itinerary…

Visit Donalson’s Pumpkin Patch

Donalson Diesel Performance will be hosting a free pumpkin patch for families from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. There will be Kona ice, boiled peanuts, free pumpkins, barrel train rides, corn hole, face painting, and more. Before coming downtown for the PumpkinFest, be sure to stop at Donalson first! Donalson Diesel Performance Center is located at 9115 Havana Highway.

Start the morning off with a hot (or cold) drink.

The PumpkinFest starts at 10 a.m., but before you dive deep into the petting zoo, pony rides, vendor market, train rides, pumpkin-themed fun, or hay rides, make a brief stop at one of Havana’s downtown coffee shops or the new shake-shop. Between Roosters Roasters, Poppy’s (located inside Wanderings), or Heroes & Villains, there are plenty of appetizing and energizing drinks to get you started!

Grab a bite to eat.

In the mood for pizza? What about a fresh off-the-griddle sandwich? Southern soul food? Authentic Latin cuisine? Whatever bite you are in the mood for, Havana has an ever-growing food-scene that’s worth sampling this weekend, in addition to the visiting food vendors who will be attending the PumpkinFest.

Explore local Havana history.

Need to get away from the crowds for a bit? Duck into the Shade Tobacco Museum, located at 204 Northwest 2nd Street, and explore the culture, industries, and people who made Havana what it is today.

See the Autumn coloring contest entries at Coon Bottom Country Store.

In the windows of the Coon Bottom Country Store will be several autumn-themed artwork from The Havana Herald’s Autumn Coloring Contest. While the winners of the contest have been selected, there were too many wonderful entries to not give praise to all our artists! All of the entries for this month’s coloring contest will be on display at the country store.

Learn about Elephant Refuge North America.

Volunteers with Elephant Refuge North America will have a booth set up at the Havana PumpkinFest to talk about their Attapulgus, Georgia refuge and its two elephants: Bo and Tarra. Stop into the booth to purchase commemorative mugs, stickers, note cards, and children’s books.

Take a free hayride.

Courtesy of one of Havana’s local farms, hayrides will be free during the Havana PumpkinFest! The rides will be offered by Whitetail Hollow Farms.

Enter a costume contest.

Do you or your pet have an outfit worth entering into the PumpkinFest Costume Contest? The pet costume contest will take place at 11 a.m., and the people costume contest will start at noon. Be sure to talk to Havana Main Street for more information and rules.

Bring some spending cash.

Admission to the festival is $3 for adults and $2 for kids. But you will want extra spending money for vendors and snacks.

Have fun.

The most important thing of all…make sure to have fun this weekend!

Ashley Hunter –