Photo by Randy Strothman
By Alyse Horn
Twenty-five years ago Barbara Burns created Pumpkinfest, an event that is attended by thousands of children and parents, and is considered “one of the nicest children’s festivals in the city,” Burns said.
“We want families to have an affordable neighborhood experience in the park,” Burns said.
The event will take place on Saturday, October 8 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in East Allegheny Commons Park.
As well as activities for kids, the festival includes a health fair where over 40 family service providers gather to make connections and offer assistance. Burns said the event encompasses a blend of services and not just medical providers, but also organizations like the Lions Club.
This year the event will be commemorated by burying a time capsule and planting a sugar maple tree. Burns said the event has been going on for so long that some adults who attend the festival with their children had attended when they were kids themselves. Burn’s idea is that the children of today can include something with the time capsule, and then years from now when it is opened they will have the chance to share their childhood memories with their kids.
“It’s a wonderful compliment that we can put forth something that is so well received,” Burns said.
The sugar maple, which was chosen for its orange leaves, is also being planted to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the festival and also a tribute to Allegheny Commons Park for hosting the event all these years.
“This is a labor of love,” Burns said. “We have great partners that bring a lot of resources, time, and energy to this event. It’s why we have such a great turnout.”
The event costs $5 per child, but adults get in for free.