The Great Cortland Pumpkinfest Celebrates the Harvest Season

Posted by  //  September 16, 2015  //  News

Back in the 1990’s the City of Cortland had no festival to call its own.   Marathon had a Maple Festival, Lafayette had an Apple Festival but Cortland had no signature event.  Feeling there was a need to create something that would bring the community together, celebrate the harvest season and at the same time draw people to Cortland, the Great Cortland Pumpkinfest came to fruition.  20 years later it is one of the most well attended events in Cortland County.

“I think we can say the event has exceeded our expectations”, said Jim Dempsey, one of the founding committee members.   “What we are finding now is local folks as well as out of town visitors are attending the festival.  It really has accomplished what we initially set out to do.”  When the weather cooperates, as many as 5,000 people have attended the Pumpkinfest over both days of the event.

Promoted as a “celebration of the harvest season” the festival is certainly consistent with Cortland’s agricultural roots and this theme becomes apparent once you see what the Pumpkinfest has to offer. Hay rides, pony rides, a puppet show and children’s games make it a great family outing.  Crafters make it a destination for Mom and if Dad needs to be convinced to attend, great food options and live entertainment make it an enjoyable time.  With no admission and many of the activities free it can be a very affordable family outing.

As always, this year’s Great Cortland Pumpkinfest will take place in Cortland’s Court House Park, the first weekend in October. the 3rd  and 4th.  Saturday’s activities start at 9 a.m and run until 5 p.m.   The Sunday schedule starts at noon with a 5 p.m. finish.  If you are looking for a way to celebrate the harvest season, the Great Cortland Pumpkinfest should be at the top of your list.

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