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Pumpkin festival kicks off with parade, live music

Sunday, October 12, 2008 | 10:30 p.m. CDT; updated 4:17 p.m. CDT, Saturday, October 18, 2008
Mackenzie Wadly, 5, of High Point, gets her face painted by Kirsten Sapp of Ashland. Sapp was one of the many Ashland FFA students who sponsored the face-painting booth at the Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival on Oct. 11.

COLUMBIA — Early Saturday morning, the low sun created a beautiful setting for the start of the 17th annual Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival. The famous giant pumpkins basking in the sunlight made a perfect playground for the kids climbing and leaping across them.

Hartsburg, a town south of Columbia with a population of 108, is expected to host 25,000 to 30,000 visitors each day during the two-day festival. Attendees can expect to find hot kettle corn, pork burgers, tie-dyed T-shirts, pony rides, jewelry and home decorations from more than 220 vendors.

The festival began 9 a.m. Saturday with a parade through town; music was provided by the Southern Boone high school and middle school marching bands. Mick Byrd and Bonus Track, followed by Roadhouse Fiddle, entertained crowds during the afternoon.

The festival continues today and starts with a 9 a.m. church service. Spiritual Strings, Out of the Valley, Praises to Him and Nashville Church make up the afternoon's musical line-up. Families can also pick out the perfect pumpkin and enjoy hayrides in the pumpkin patch, a stroll through the corn maze and even some pumpkin fudge.

Parking is limited this year, though handicapped parking is available. Trams pulled by John Deere tractors are available to escort people from the parking lots to the festival.

The 17th annual Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival was held Saturday and Sunday. Commuters from all over Boone County were treated to a sight of giant pumpkins, fresh corn-on-the-cob and many pumpkin-themed decorations. The festival included close to 220 craft and food vendors. The town of Hartsburg saw an estimated 25,000 to 30,000 visitors over the entirety of the festival.
Pumpkins sorted by size and variety await festivalgoers in Hartsburg on Saturday. The festival, an annual tradition for the town, runs through Sunday.
Jeff McCully balances pumpkins as he waits to purchase them on Saturday at the Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival.
Zoe Olaughlin, 10 months, of Columbia, poses in the pumpkin pile as her dad, John Olaughlin, takes her picture. The pumpkin harvest is on display for the Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival that runs through Sunday.
Brynn Baker, 4, of Jefferson City inspects the base of a pile of pumpkins before climbing on top of it at the at the Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival. The pumpkins were for sale but were used also as a natural jungle gym by children.
Members of the Southern Boone High School marching band warm up in a field before they perform in the parade for the Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival on Oct. 11.

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