Another successful Great Downtown Pumpkin Festival

RAPID CITY, S.D. — The annual Great Downtown Pumpkin Festival returned to Main Street Square for it’s 12th year on Saturday, and while weather was less than ideal at times, organizers were grateful for the turnout.

It was a fun, fall day for the entire family. There were bouncy castles, a giant pumpkin weigh-off, carving competitions, a pumpkin slingshot…and lots of food.

As an outdoor venue, Main Street Square has maintained its ability to provide safe, fun events over the summer and is continuing into the fall and holiday season. 

“The turnouts been great,” said Main Street Square Executive Director, Domico Rodriguez. “Obviously there was a little bit of weather in there around the noon hour, but overall it’s been very good and very well received by everybody here today.”

Tawnia Merkle, the owner of Lookout Gardens, was also pleased with the positive response from the community.

“Well, it kinda seems like everybody’s respecting the social distancing and keeping everything else safe, and it seems like a pretty good turnout,” said Merkle. “We had a little blustery weather there, but it seems like an overall pretty good day to me.”

As for visitors, they were glad to get out and enjoy a normal, albeit chilly day downtown.

“We’re having a fabulous time,” said Josey Sittig, who was visiting the festival with her daughter Eliza Milk. When asked what her favorite part of the festival was, Eliza responded, “I liked the small pumpkin and the big pumpkin.” 

There were a wide variety of events visitors could participate in, as well as a street full of vendors. With so many events canceled this year, vendors were more than glad to be able to participate and show off their goods.

In this unusual year, social distancing was also encouraged, and one popular event, “Punkin Chunkin” was actually replaced…and it was a hit.

“The pumpkin slingshot was a great idea,” said Rodriguez. “It actually went really, really well, to the point where we sold out of pumpkins to be shot out of. So, a lot of these little tweaks and changes that we made, worked really, really well.”

After a successful fall festival, Main Street Square organizers are ready for ice rinks and the popular Scare in the Square.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, South Dakota News

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