Harvest season is the busiest season in the Annapolis Valley and there's no shortage of things to do, thanks to the Valley Pumpkin Fest. I was in Kentville visiting my family for Thanksgiving, so we took advantage of the nice weather to meet the famous Pumpkin People of Kentville.
Thanksgiving weekend was also Kentville's Harvest Festival and there were plenty of fun for everyone. We headed down to Centre Square on Saturday morning for the Harvest Festival kick-off and to explore the town to meet the Pumpkin People.
I got to meet some really special people that day. First, Spike, Kentville's Pumpkin Person mascot.
Spike was the star of the show. Kids were running to him for hugs and getting their parents to snap photos with the big guy. Even the odd big kid or two may have gotten hugs from Spike, but I promised I wouldn't tell on them.
The highlight of the morning was a Pumpkin People Supply Giveaway for residents, featuring all of the essential components for building your own pumpkin person: old clothes, corn stalks (for the internal structure), hay (stuffing) and a smiling pumpkin head. As the supplies were doled out, people got right to work, quickly and expertly assembling their Pumpkin People.
While wandering around learning how to make a Pumpkin Person, I happened upon a very glamorous bunch of real people making Pumpkin People - the princesses of Queen Annapolisa's court. They were quite the team, quickly getting the corn stalk structure put together. I bet they've done this sort of thing before...
If you're looking to build your own Pumpkin Person to celebrate the harvest season, I highly recommend hitting the streets of Kentville for inspiration. The Pumpkin People Festival runs from October 6 to 28, and the town is having a lot of fun with this year's theme, "Lights, Camera, Pumpkins!"
It's easy to cover the whole route by starting by the Kentville/New Minas line and working your way west across town. Most of the displays featured popular characters from your favourite animated movies, and it was tough to pick favourites. Like the gang from Up:
And this charming group of characters from Monsters Inc. Yes, Sully was covered in a soft, monster-like coat.
Finally, this guy was running down Burger Hill, away from the Omnidroid from The Incredibles.
From Burger Hill, I had a great view of Oak Grove Cemetery, perched high on hill on Cornwallis Street. Later that evening, I joined Kentville's Gravely Ghostwalk, an entertaining and educational lamp-lit walk through Oak Grove Cemetery. Led by Jerome the Gravekeeper, the Ghostwalk is a spooky introduction to some of Kentville's most notable and scandalous residents, told by the characters themselves at their gravesites.
The tour was a lot of fun, it was also incredibly well-researched, fascinating, and, at times, heartbreaking. I walked away from it with a new-found appreciation for Kentville and its storied past. My tips are to take a flashlight and dress warmly. Other folks, far smarter than me, were wearing their camping headlights, which is an even better idea if you don't have an antique lamp at home.
There is still plenty of harvest fun to be had in Kentville, and all around the Annapolis Valley with the Valley Pumpkin Fest. From now until the end of October, the Pumpkin People will be on display from Kentville's eastern to western boundaries. Take a drive around, and you'll find plenty of opportunities to pick your own pumpkin, go on a hayride, pick apples or buy fresh produce from a roadside table in front of someone's house. If you're up for a family-friendly ghostly adventure, Valley Ghostwalks will be hosting Ghostwalks in Wolfville, downtown Kentville, and a repeat of the Gravely Ghostwalk at Oak Grove Cemetery in Kentville.