By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER
The center of downtown Plainville was converted into a community block party on Saturday, Oct. 19, as hundreds of residents flooded the streets in celebration of the 5th annual Plainville Pumpkin Festival.
Pumpkin festival committee member Kris Dargenio explained that she was inspired to start an autumnal festival in town after visiting a similar event in New Hampshire several years ago. When Dargenio approached town staff with her initial idea, she was pleased that the town wanted to give it a try.
“I’ve been in town for about 34 years and it’s amazing—it’s a lot of work, for four months straight the committee, the town, the police, all members of different organizations come together and we all make this happen—nobody is fighting, nobody is arguing. It’s the best of Plainville,” said Dargenio. “When I look at the streets packed like this, people having fun and taking pictures, it’s just amazing.”
Bringing people downtown was part of why Dargenio wanted to host the festival in the first place. “There’s so many cute little businesses here, and they all welcome people down here. It’s kind of like come down and see what we have—there’s tons of parking in the back of all the buildings, so now all these people can see what they have, what’s downtown,” she said.
Not long after the opening of the festival, attendees could see an army of spooky characters marching down Whiting Street as the children’s costume parade made their way to the public library. Amongst the crowd were Halloween staples such as Wednesday Addams from the popular television show, “The Addams Family,” and new characters from popular movies such as Mal from the Disney movie, “The Descendents.”
Attendees were treated to several food trucks, vendor booths, live music, and the Plainville Pumpkin Patch where families could decorate their own jack-o’-lanterns which would be displayed in front of the public library.
Settled in the pumpkin patch, paint brush in hand, was State Rep. Dr. William Petit Jr., and his son, dressed as a dragon.
“I think that this is an inexpensive way for people to have a good time and just celebrate in a safe environment,” said Petit. “We moved here when I was five in 1961, Plainville has always had great community spirit.”
And that sense of community spirit didn’t falter, as all of the funds that were raised during the festival will be donated to the Plainville Community Fund, established by a group of Plainville community leaders who were interested in creating a resource for charitable programs and projects that would enhance the quality of life for Plainville residents, according to www.plainvillecommunityfund.com. Each year, grants are awarded to charitable programs and projects working to enhance the community in the areas of arts and culture, education, environment, health, and human services amongst others.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Murchison-Gallagher, email her at TMurchison@PlainvilleObserver.com.
Photos by JANELLE MORELLI