BRADFORD — Confetti is flying — which is a good sign the 88th annual Bradford Pumpkin Show is under way.
The normally quiet little town of Bradford is buzzing with the energy of kids of all ages. Floats, including ones for Little Miss and Master Pumpkin, are a highlight of the nightly parades. Many of the floats are even helping to celebrate this year’s theme, “150 years of Bradford.”
A balloon launch in honor of Thelma Clark opened the Pie Auction on Wednesday evening. Clark, now deceased and once a grand marshal of the Pumpkin Show, started the Pie Auction in order to help raise funds for the display building. Locals enter pumpkin breads and pies that are judged and then auctioned to the public.
Dottie Carder, daughter of Thelma and Raymond Clark of Bradford, now presides over the auction.
“It’s an honor to carry on my mom’s tradition of hosting the Pumpkin Pie Auction. It’s great to see participants, new and old, bring in their fresh, newly baked goodies to be judged,” Clark said. “I am hoping to build the auction by adding a new category next year, Pumpkin Cookies.
“Our family is grateful to those that help make the auction a success. My mom wanted to do whatever she could do to help keep the display building opened up each year.”
Kelly Dunlevy is in charge of the actual Display and Produce Building each year.
When approached, Stacy Gephart of Piqua, said there are many reasons she attends the annual festival.
”I visit my Bradford friends, maybe toss a little confetti and eat some tasty foods,” said Gephart, who this year brought her daughter and granddaughter so they could enjoy it, too.
Events continue through Saturday and more information can be found at http://bradfordpumpkinshow.org.
This weekend’s events:
Noon — Craft Show starts in Eddings Park until 8:30 p.m.
1 p.m. — Midway opens
1:30 p.m. — School parade
2 p.m. — Big Wheel Races held on midway
7:30-9:30 p.m. — Entertainment — Jake Cline
8 p.m. — DC Connection at the Bradford Community Club
11 p.m. — Festival closes
7-7:45 a.m. — Registration for Run for the Rails 5K (located at Refinery Coffee House, corner of Miami Avenue and Oakwood Street)
8 a.m. — Run for the Rails 5K
9 a.m. to noon — Car show registration
Noon to 3 p.m. — Car show
Noon — Pet & Novelty Parade (behind Bradford city building, north end stage)
Noon — Craft show in Iddings Park until 8:30 p.m.
2 p.m. — Cutest baby contest (North end stage)
4 p.m. — Family Float Contest
4 p.m. — Extravaganza Parade & Miami County Fire Prevention Parade — Grand Marshals will be current or former residents of Bradford born in 1936 or before and the Bradford High School Class of 1976
5:30 p.m. — Smash-A-Pumpkin (north end stage)
5:30 p.m. — Registration for the Talent Contest
6:30-8:30 p.m. — Talent contest (north end stage)
8 p.m. — Strategy at the Bradford Community Club
10 p.m. — “Lucky Pumpkin Sweepstakes” drawn
11 p.m. — Closing of the 2016 Bradford Pumpkin Show
Heather Canan is a freelance writer and resident of Bradford. She can be reached at [email protected]