Pumpkin People, Oktoberfest Returns To Downtown Chatham

By: Tim Wood

Topics: Chatham Merchants Association

Michelle Millett, manager of Yankee Ingenuity, takes a photo of the “Trumpkin” created by shop owner Jon Vaughan.

Pumpkin People have returned to Kate Gould Park, in anticipation of this Saturday's annual Oktoberfest celebration.

Sponsored by the Chatham Merchants Association, Pumpkin People in the Park is the annual display centered around – what else – pumpkins. Business, non-profit organizations and individuals sponsor a Pumpkin Person, creating a scenario that, in the past, have ranged from simple to complex. Sometimes based on popular themes like movies, sometimes mined from the imaginations of their creators, the display delights and entertains thousands throughout the month of October.

Pumpkin People in the Park has been cited as contributing to Chatham being named the fourth best town in the country for Halloween.

Displays were set up last Friday. A panel of judges will scrutinize the Pumpkin People for difficulty, originality, creativity and entertainment value, beginning Oct. 17. The displays will remain in the park through Halloween.

Pumpkin People lead into the merchants-sponsored Oktoberfest in Chatham, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 22 at Kate Gould Park. This year's Oktoberfest will include live music from Sarah Swain and the Oh Boys and the Chatham Band, as well as a children's costume-hat-mask parade around the park. New this year is a 4 p.m. Zombie Tag game, whereby participants wear lights that changed color when they are “tagged” by a zombie.

There will also be kids games and crafts as well as a cornhole tournament and growler hold contest. The festival takes place from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.