By Sam Wildow
BRADFORD —After getting canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual Bradford Pumpkin show returned this week with confetti, parades, contests, games, food, and pumpkins — both creative and large.
The 92nd annual Bradford Pumpkin Show made its return Tuesday, and the festival will continue through Saturday, concluding with the Lucky Pumpkin Sweepstakes at 10 p.m. Saturday. Loyal attendees returned throughout the week, including local resident Rita Leis.
“I’ve lived here all my life. I always come to the Pumpkin Show,” Leis said. She said it would be hard to choose just one of her favorite things about the Pumpkin Show, saying she enjoys the parades, the food, and the pumpkins.
“It’s always good,” Leis said about the Pumpkin Show. “We didn’t have one last year, so we were all ready for it this year. The parade last night (Tuesday) was great, and I hope the weather holds out for the weekend.”
Nevin and Liz Fessler, who live west of Troy, are also loyal visitors to the Pumpkin Show.
“I’m 77 years old, and I’ve probably been to at least 70 shows,” Nevin Fessler said. “We come up here quite a bit to the Pumpkin Show.”
Liz Fessler said some of her favorite things about the Pumpkin Show were the entries in the display building
“I love to see what creative ideas they’ve come up with,” she said about the children’s entries.
“I like to see the big pumpkins,” Nevin Fessler said. “I can’t believe they weigh that much.” This year’s largest pumpkin, which was from Blake Aultman, weighed 700 pounds.
Games, contests, and parades will continue on Friday and Saturday. A wide variety of food will also be available. According to the Bradford Pumpkin Show’s website, there will be several vendors who offer meal options like barbecue pork and chicken, chicken fingers, Italian sausage, and pizza. These places also offer sides and drinks like french fries, chips, hand-made lemonade, and soda. There will also be several vendors who offer a variety of specialty items like deep fried desserts, elephant ears, funnel cakes, ice cream, cotton candy, and caramel apples.
Still to come at the Bradford Pumpkin Show:
On Friday, the rides and midway will be open from 1-11 p.m. The school parade will be at 1:30 p.m., and there will be a Big Wheel Race at 4:30 p.m.
On Saturday, there will be a number of events and shows going on, including the following:
• 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. there will be a Car Show in the back of the village of Bradford Park behind rides
• 10 a.m., rides and midway open
• Noon, Craft Show opens, end time varies by vendor, on the south midway
• Noon, Pet and Novelty Parade, which will start at City Building and at the north end stage
• 2 p.m., Cutest Baby Contest, judging and line up begins at 1:30 p.m. at the north end stage
• 4 p.m., Extravaganza Parade
• 5 p.m., Smash-A-Pumpkin event at the north end stage, tickets on sale all week
• 10 p.m., Lucky Pumpkin Sweepstakes at the north end stage, tickets on sale until all have been sold
• 11 p.m., rides and midway close
The Extravaganza Parade on Saturday afternoon features police and fire trucks from several towns, tractors, classic cars, military veterans and vehicles, and many other community organizations.
The Bradford Pumpkin Show takes place near downtown Bradford at 115 N. Miami Avenue, Bradford. Follow any posted detours/road signs once you enter Bradford. For more information, visit bradfordpumpkinshow.org.