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It's pumpkin season and time for Montague's Pumpkinfest festival. Photo by Jerry Grady.

Pumpkins Roll in Downtown Montague October 13


“Ready, set, roll!” Pumpkin rollers get ready to unleash your rolling pumpkins down the Dowling Street Hill in downtown Montague for the 23rd Annual Pumpkinfest.

This quiet West Michigan town comes to life October 13, when hundreds of residents and visitors wait in line to roll a small orange gourd down this mid-town hill.

For years, the Montague residents have told stories of late night "rollings" when youngsters raced to outwit authorities by sending pumpkins off the back of pick-up trucks. Now the roll is sanctioned and ribbons awarded to the winners of each heat.

This fun-filled event kicks off with many activities and events for kids of all ages throughout the morning and into the afternoon. And back by popular demand is the Arts and Crafts portion of Pumpkinfest with more than 40 vendors along Ferry Street, between Church and Dowling Streets.

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Pumpkin roll. Photo by Jerry Grady.

Pumpkin Central is the headquarters of the Registration Team for the Pumpkin Roll. The registration tent will be set up on the corner Ferry Street and Dowling, where Montague High School DECA volunteers welcome and participate in the roll starting at 9:30 a.m. The Pumpkin Roll begins at 11:00 a.m. and continues until all pumpkins have rolled. Registration fee to roll is $1.00 with your own pumpkin and $3.00 if you need a pumpkin.

The roll is divided according to age groups and will begin first with the youngest group: three years and under; four to six years; sevem to 12 years; 13 to 18 years; 19 to 69 years; and 70 and over.

This family-friendly event offers many activities from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

• The Book Nook and Java Shop welcome all Blue Ribbon winners to stop in for a complimentary cup of hot cocoa. Other pumpkin spiced specialties will also be available for sale. Enjoy the Blue Grass Festival at the Book Nook and Java Shop throughout the weekend with music at 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on the 13th.

• The Farmer’s Market opens at 9:00 a.m. on Church Street with produce from local area farms.

• At 9:00 a.m., the White Lake Senior Center hosts a Best Home-made Pumpkin Pie Contest. Submit pies between 9:00 and 10:00 a.m. for judging at 10:00 a.m. Ribbons will be awarded with whole and sliced pies for sale by 11:00 a.m. The Senior Center’s Bake Sale runs until 1:00 p.m. and foot long hotdogs will also be for sale.

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Photo by Jerry Grady.

• Pumpkins will be rolled, dragged, and carefully carried to the big scale for their weigh-in at Tri-County Feed and then proudly displayed in front of Lipka’s Old Fashioned Soda Fountain by 9:00 a.m. where the winner will have bragging rights and be awarded The Montague Pumpkin Cup!

• Compete in the Pumpkin Seed Spitting Contest from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. near Lipka’s. Tri County Feed provides plenty of seeds for contenders to spit away!

• Carve your masterpiece at home, bring it to Pumpkinfest, and enter it into the Pumpkin Carving Contest hosted by Greenridge Realty and Studio 2 Gallery by 9:30 a.m. Pumpkins will be displayed and judged at noon. Ribbons and prizes will be awarded to the winners!

• From 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., the Arts and Crafts Fair is back! Shop over 40 booths on Ferry Street, between Dowling Street and the Church Street Farmer’s Market.

• Visit the Arts Council of White Lake at the Arts and Crafts festival where they will host a community coloring event, classes, and have local art for sale.

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Pictured, the classic antique cider mill. Photo by Jerry Grady.

• Don’t miss out on the old-fashioned operating cider mill with demonstrations beginning at 10:00 a.m.

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Kids love painting pumpkins! Photo by Jerry Grady.

• The Greater Muskegon Optimist Club sponsors a pumpkin painting contest for youngsters of all ages beginning at 10:00 a.m. Judging occurs at noon with first, second, and third place ribbons awarded. Find their tent near the Book Nook.

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Hayrides explore scenic Montague. Photo by Jerry Grady.

• Free hayrides will run from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. near the Farmer’s Market. The tractor follows a short scenic route to the boat launch and back. Beverages and sweets will be available during your wait!

• Try your hand at Boo-Bowling with a Photo Op and Selfie Station in the Alley at Wendy Ginn Photography!

• New this year is a Canine Costume Contest sponsored by Greenridge Realty. Registration will be at 10:30 a.m. and the judging will start at 11:45 a.m. with fun photo ops, ribbons, and prizes!

• Food vendors will be stationed near the Post Office to satisfy your appetite throughout the day, but don’t forget to check out the food booths at the Arts and Crafts Fair too!

• Entertainment abounds with Montague High School Drumline kicking things off at 9:30 a.m., followed by The Cedar Creek Cloggers at 10:00 a.m. Free balloon animals will be crafted from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., face-painting will be available through the MHS Art Students, and Michigan’s Heritage Park, Montague Foods, Montague Library, and Studio France will set up stations in town with free crafts and refreshments.

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Photo by Jerry Grady.

Making this event possible is our Pumpkinfest Committee and event sponsors including Meijer as our Gold Sponsor, Carmichael Heating and Cooling as our Silver Sponsor, and Coldwell Banker Woodland Schmidt, MasterTag, and Shelby State Bank as our Bronze Sponsors.

This 23rd annual event is a community favorite where folks come from near and far to enjoy and take in the festivities. For more information, contact the White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce at (231) 893-4585 or the City of Montague at (231) 893-1155 or check out the website at

Come and enjoy the beautiful White Lake Area, where quaint shops, sandy beaches, historic sites, summer concerts, and outdoor recreation abound along with gorgeous sunsets and a host of unique lodging opportunities. For a list of festivals and special events visit Contact the White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce for additional information at (231) 893-4585.

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