Saturday to be a ‘gourd’ day for a festival

By Wendy Byerly Wood - wbyerly-wood@elkintribune.com
Karla Romero, a Surry Community College intern for the Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce, uses her artistic skills to design a directional sign for Saturday’s Yadkin Valley Pumpkin Festival in downtown Elkin. - Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune
Karla Romero, a Surry Community College intern for the Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce, uses her artistic skills to design a directional sign for Saturday's Yadkin Valley Pumpkin Festival in downtown Elkin. - Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

The forecast for Saturday’s annual Yadkin Valley Pumpkin Festival is 85 degrees and mostly sunny until later in the afternoon, and organizers are looking forward to the weekend.

“We’re excited to have the big pumpkin weigh-off again at the corner of Bridge and Standard streets on the heritage center campus,” said Myra Cook, president of the hosting Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce.

The weigh-off of the giant pumpkins, melons and gourds, some of which come from as far away as Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia to tip the scales, will begin at 10 a.m. and last for a couple of hours.

“We have one from Ohio who drives all night and parks at 2 or 3 in the morning, and when the forklifts get there, they weigh and then leave to go back to a contest in Ohio at a county fair,” Cook said.

“The rain this year has not been good for pumpkin growing, because they are sitting in water,” she said of what the growers have shared.

A forklift is used to carefully move the pumpkins, some weighing 1,000 pounds or more, onto the scale. The weigh-off is an officially sanctioned event.

In addition to the pumpkins, the heritage center area also will host children’s games, food trucks, an Elkin Rescue Squad demonstration and a Boy Scout booth, Cook said. The festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. throughout downtown.

The corner of Main and Bridge streets will highlight the need for public safety as the Elkin Fire Department sets up its hot car thermometer demonstration.

“There will be food trucks scattered up and down Main Street, and we have two doughnut vendors coming,” said Cook.

“We have some regular vendors we’ve had for years, and some new craft vendors,” she said of the nearly 100 booths that festival goers can shop.

“We are encouraging the vendors and stores to decorate in a fall festival look,” Cook said.

While the festival is family-friendly, Cook said organizers are requesting pets be left at home so that their paws don’t get too hot on the downtown pavement.

In addition, the Elkin Farmers Market will be set on at the heritage center Saturday morning, instead of its usual location at town hall.

Parking is available in several locations, including the Elkin Town Hall parking lot, the Masonic lodge, the alley behind the Post Office, as well as along Standard Street. All cars must be moved off of Main Street by 8 a.m. Saturday so vendors can set up.

In a change of pace from previous years, the Cruise! Elkin cruise-in will be held Friday along Main Street from 4 to 8 p.m., instead of Saturday.

Other events coinciding with the pumpkin festival include the Yadkin Valley Quilters Guild quilt show at Galloway Memorial Episcopal Church on West Main Street and the Friends of the Elkin Library used book sale at the Elkin Public Library at the corner of West Main and Front streets.

At the end of the day, at 5 p.m., the Elkin Valley Trails Association and the Yadkin Valley Rotary Club will hold their annual duck and turtle regatta in Big Elkin Creek at the site of the dam behind the library. Turtles and ducks can be adopted at the EVTA booth until 4 p.m. Saturday.

Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.

Karla Romero, a Surry Community College intern for the Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce, uses her artistic skills to design a directional sign for Saturday’s Yadkin Valley Pumpkin Festival in downtown Elkin.
https://www.elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_pumpkin-1_formatted-2.jpgKarla Romero, a Surry Community College intern for the Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce, uses her artistic skills to design a directional sign for Saturday’s Yadkin Valley Pumpkin Festival in downtown Elkin. Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Karla Romero, a Surry Community College intern for the Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce, uses her artistic skills to design a directional sign for Saturday’s Yadkin Valley Pumpkin Festival in downtown Elkin.
https://www.elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_pumpkin-2_formatted-2.jpgKarla Romero, a Surry Community College intern for the Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce, uses her artistic skills to design a directional sign for Saturday’s Yadkin Valley Pumpkin Festival in downtown Elkin.Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

By Wendy Byerly Wood

wbyerly-wood@elkintribune.com