25th Anniversary Allardt Great Pumpkin Festival Set for Oct. 1

The Allardt Great Pumpkin Festival and Weigh-off marks its 25th anniversary celebration on Saturday, October 1. Weigh-off fans are excited to see what enormous pumpkins, water-melons, and green squash will show up to topple local and state weight records once again.

Jaw-dropping giant pumpkins have marked the past two annual weigh-offs. Jason Terry of Oneida broke the Allardt record in 2015 with a pumpkin weighing 1473.5 pounds. And Kevin Garrett of Allardt surpassed existing Tennessee and Allardt records in 2014 with a 1405.6 pound entry.

In addition to the weigh-off, the festival features an auto and cycle show, antique tractors, crafts and food vendors, a costume contest, live entertainment on stage at City Hall, a parade, and fireworks to cap off the day.

Allardt is a 2016 GPC weigh-off site offering $1000, $600, and $400 prizes for the top pumpkin, watermelon, and green squash respectively. An assortment of other vegetables will compete for weight and size awards as well.  The Weigh-Off at the Sandy’s Diner building is set for 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. with registration from 8 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Dwight Dickson will again serve as master of ceremonies.

The festival officially begins at 10 a.m. (Central) October 1 at Allardt City Hall where Chairman Tom Potter will note the festival’s 25th Anniversary observance, honor previous festival royalty, and introduce the 2016 Festival King and Queen and pageant winners. A costume contest sponsored by Progressive Savings Bank for children up to age 12 will follow at City Hall. Register for the contest at 9:30 a.m.

Entertainment on stage at City Hall, will begin at 12:30 p.m. until the 3 p.m. parade. Singers and muscians include Brother Rains (Chris and Brad Rains), Tim Chuck 2, Jeff Crouch, Cody Hull, and Ghost of Gatewood. Entertainment will resume following the parade at about 4 p.m. Fireworks always top off the event at dark about 7 p.m.

The York Institute Cheerleaders will help coordinate the Clyde and Zelia Stephens Memorial Auto and Motorcycle Show, sponsored by O’Reilly Auto Parts and Fitzgerald Glider Kits. Grassroots Planning & Consulting is also sponsoring the Motorcycle Show.  Stephen Williams is event chairman. Registration is from 8 a.m. until noon at the 4-way stop in Allardt. Entries will enjoy lots of prizes, awards, and cash giveaways. Antique tractor exhibitors will display near the auto show and participate along with autos in the 3 p.m. parade. Bryan Edwards and Dustin Garrett will coordinate the tractor show, sponsored by Steiner Tractor Parts. Members of Three Rivers Tractor Club in Harriman are expected to bring entries.

Read the rest of the story in this weeks Fentress Courier.