The Arbuckle Pumpkin Festival turned out to be the place to be for a lot of people on Sunday.
After more than six months in almost total shutdown of community events, the annual outdoor festival in LaVanch Hursch Community Park went off as planned.
The event also drew more people to Colusa County and from greater distances than ever before.
“I’ve been looking forward to this for weeks,” said Delany Cook, of Woodland. “It was just a nice outing. We got some pumpkins, the kids painted pumpkins while we were here, and it was good to just get out and do something fun.”
The Arbuckle Revitalization Committee has sponsored the October event for a number of years. Vendors who hawked their products were happy with the large number of buyers, and as a fundraiser for Arbuckle Revitalization, the event was extremely successful for them as well.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had this many vendors before,” organizer Diana Lytal said. “This is our largest year. We have about 30. We’ve had great support from the community. Attendance (was) awesome.”
Local high school students volunteered to unload the pumpkins, which were scattered on the grass, and Pierce High School cheerleaders helped youth paint designs on the pumpkins. Colusa County Office of Education was also on hand to give out books. Of course, there was a face-painting booth and photo opts with pumpkins.
“We had a lot of activities for children,” Lytal said.
Vendor booths included many home crafted and gift items, along with multi-level marketing companies like Origami Owl, Scentsy, and Arbonne.
Marcy Bradshaw-Angier, of Bamm Jammz, in Woodland, brought a large variety of homemade jams.
Angier said it was the first time attending the festival, as an invite from M&L Ambriz, who sold their local honey, and that her friends came all the way from Vacaville for the festival because most events in their area have been cancelled.
“People just want something to do,” she said. “It was a great turnout and I did pretty well.”
The event was also the place for young entrepreneurs, like Sweets by Adri, to show people what their stuff is made of.
“I work from home,” said Adriana Maya, a 2019 Pierce High School graduate, who sold cookies and cheesecakes. “This is my little side business to get money for college. I can make any dessert and I take orders for any events.”
Local vendors also included Don Chuy Tacos, MJ Sweets, Black Shire Almonds, and many others.
While Arbuckle had to cancel this year’s car show, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the local organization said it hopes to move forward with their plans for other events, including the annual Christmas Stroll in December.
The Pumpkin Festival is a fundraiser for Arbuckle Revitalization that goes toward the cost of eventually restoring the old railroad depot, but the group has several projects in the works.
“Our mission statement is to revitalize the town, so we started doing a lot of other things, like ‘sweep the street,’” Lytal said.
Lacey Gimple said the committee will continue their cleanup and restoration projects not only to help spruce up the town and business district, but to encourage youth to take pride in their community.
“We want to teach our kids to be prideful of where we live,” Gimple said. “We call it our hometown pride initiative.” ♣