The Hippo


May 25, 2020








The pumpkin patch at a past Milford Pumpkin Festival. Courtesy photo.

Milford Pumpkin Festival

Where: In and around the historic Oval in Milford
When: Friday, Oct. 10, through Sunday, Oct. 12
Cost: Free, but bring money for vendors and rides
Call: 672-4567
Visit for a full schedule of events.
Milford’s Got Talent
Where: Amato Center for the Performing Arts, 56 Mont Vernon Road, Milford
When: Saturday, Oct. 11, at 8 p.m.
Cost: $10 for adults, $5 for kids under 12 years old
Visit to pre-order tickets.

Growing by leaps and sounds
Milford Pumpkin Festival celebrates 25 years with bigger talent show


A pumpkin catapult, pumpkin painting, a biggest-pumpkin contest — it must be time for Milford’s 25th annual Pumpkin Festival, this year featuring plenty of pumpkin-themed events as well as a haunted trail, rides, scarecrow building and a bigger and better talent show contest.

The festival opens on Friday, Oct. 10, at 5 p.m., featuring several local food and craft vendors, a haunted trail through Emerson Park and a beer and wine tasting with over 10 of New Hampshire’s beer and wine companies.
On Saturday, Milford will celebrate the dead with a walk through the Elm Street Cemetery and a zombie walk and costume contest and host a variety of amusement rides and live entertainment. At 7 p.m., families can bring their carved pumpkin over to the ceremonial lighting at the Oval Bandstand.
The event continues Sunday with a waffle breakfast in the morning hosted by the Milford Fire Department, a 5K road race at the high school and an arts and crafts fair at town hall.
According to Wendy Hunt, the executive director of the Milford Improvement Team, one of the most popular events at the festival is the scarecrow building tent. Families can go to the tent and grab clothes to create scarecrows to take home.
“We collect men’s long-sleeve shirts and jeans throughout the year that people donate,” Hunt said. “It doesn’t matter what kind of condition they’re in. We’ve got a big hay wagon, [and] a lot of different businesses will donate sticks. It takes a lot of community effort to get everything prepared.”
Milford’s got talent
How often do you see a juggler, an opera singer, an African drumming group, a band composed of 12-year-olds and a rapper share the same stage on the same night?
Maybe on TV shows like America’s Got Talent. But if you want to see that kind of action live, you’ll find it at the eighth annual Milford Talent Show, part of the Pumpkin Festival, on Saturday, Oct. 11.
“We’re offering $1,000 worth of prize money and we’ve added more prizes,” said Alan Woolfson, talent show coordinator and president of the board of directors of the Milford Improvement Team. “We have awards for the audience favorite, and first, second, and third place. We’ve raised the prize money in order to attract more people … and to get more variety and talent to open it up to a wider audience.”
The show typically hosts anywhere from 16 to 20 people depending on how long the acts are, Woolfson said. These performers are ones who made it through the talent show’s try-out round held last month.
Audience members can expect to see singers, dancers, amateur comedians, jugglers, acrobats and more. The show will also feature a comedian as the emcee for entertainment between acts and a core set of three judges.
“We’re not offering a million dollars … we don’t sit with big buzzers and ‘X’ people out,” Woolfson said. “We’re trying to put on a variety show with great talent the whole way through. The winners walk away with prizes, and we provide entertainment for families in the area.” 
As seen in the October 9, 2014 issue of the Hippo.

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