Third annual Pumpkin Fest hits downtown Jax today

By Nick Kovatch on October 26 at 6:15am

Want to see smashing pumpkins? No, not the band.

As part of the third annual Jacksonville pumpkin festival, held today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., organizers will be dropping pumpkins from the top of buildings onto the downtown square.

The event is put on by Jacksonville Main Street. Executive Director Judy Tighe says the pumpkin drop is part of a contest.

“You can buy a circle and see if it will land in your circle,” says Tighe. “They’re just going to throw [pumpkins] off of a three-story building over on Eclectic [Art Gallery] on the east side of the square. There will be a special marking on the pumpkin and where that marking lands is who determines who the winner is, so it’s really random because you never know where these parts are going to fly.”

The pumpkin drop is at 2:30 this afternoon, but there is a lot more happening throughout the day.

“First thing in the morning is the pet costume contest and parade,” says Tighe. “Signup for that is at 10:00 and the parade and judging are at 10:30. Then there’s the pumpkin decorating contest. Check-in starts at 10:00 and goes until noon. Winners will be announced at 3:00.”

There will be children’s activities at the 2Nine Gallery from Noon to 2:00; the Pumpkin Derby sponsored by Home Depot at 1:00; Mike Anderson will tell spooky ghost stories at 2Nine Gallery at 2:00 and 2:30; the Costume Parade and Judging contest sponsored by Dr. Kevin Harrington at 3:30; and safe trick-or-treating from 4:00 to 6:00. All events take place on the downtown square.

There will also be vendors and non-profit booths open through the day.

Tighe says there will be a 50/50 raffle, trivia and prizes for winners of the pumpkin decorating; pet costume; and…people costume contests.

More information can be found at