Festival offers the best of the pumpkin patch

Fourth annual VIEX Pumpkin Festival promises family fun.

The best and biggest gourds in the pumpkin patch are going on display this weekend during the Vancouver Island Exhibition’s fourth annual Pumpkin Festival Sunday (Oct. 16).

Every year pumpkin growers from across the province vie for the prize for heaviest pumpkin. Last year’s winning pumpkin weighed more than 453 kilograms.

“The growers are all so proud of the pumpkins,” said Karen Streeter, VIEX vice-president and festival coordinator.

Streeter said one of her favourite parts of the festival is when children’s eyes light up and they get excited to see the massive pumpkins.

The event is from noon to 4 p.m. at the VIEX grounds at Beban Park. Admission is free.

The family event features arts and crafts, a children’s costume contest, a farmers’ market, face painting and various activities. The costume contest begins at 2 p.m. at the agriplex.

People can also carve a pumpkin for $6, which includes a free hayride. Without purchasing a pumpkin, the hay rides are $2.

The Wellington school band will provide musical entertainment and Farmer Vicki and Daisy the Cow will thrill and delight children of all ages.

For more information on the Pumpkin Festival, please call the VIEX at 250-758-3247 or go to www.nanaimopumpkinfestival.com.