MILTON, WV (WOWK) – The West Virginia Pumpkin Festival in Milton was canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the community continued to celebrate, but on a much smaller scale.
The annual festival is one of the city’s largest events of the year bringing in people from all over the tri-state.
In order to keep the tradition alive this year, the festival’s board went to work on planning a much smaller and safer event. Festival president Cindy Hinkle says they came up with an idea they believe would work.
We put our heads together and we came up with what we’re calling a ‘reverse parade.’Cindy Hinkle, WV Pumpkin Festival president
Instead of the regular parade route through the downtown area, the route was limited to the fairgrounds. The parade floats remained stationary to allow visitors to drive through with minimal contact.
The drive-thru included everything you would usually see in the parade route, including the Cabell-Midland marching band.
Although the town is still dealing with the upset of the festival being canceled, this year’s parade turnout did not disappoint. The parade brought in a large crowd while maintaining safety guidelines.
We’ve drawn in people who patronize our gas stations, our local businesses, local restaurants and it keeps our community out there for people to see we are a great community.Cindy Hinkle, WV Pumpkin Festival president
This year’s parade theme was all about staying safe. All the parade workers wore masks and gloves when handing out goodies to passing cars.
For those who look forward to the festival every year, they’re saying this event was a nice alternative. Bradley Edens and his family attended the parade and they say it was short, but still fun.
It was fun. It’s a good alternative. Nobody is getting in close contact, nobody’s like getting hurt or ill or nothing like that.Bradley Edens, Milton resident
For more information on future plans for the festival next year, click here.