Millville preparing for Great Pumpkin Festival

Millville’s 2nd Annual Great Pumpkin Festival will be held Oct. 9, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Millville Volunteer Fire Company grounds. The five-hour, town-wide event will feature hourly drawings, a pie-eating contest, lots of food and entertainment.

“It’s the greatest thing to happen to Millville, because it brings people together – not just from the town but from the community – and it showcases our commercial area,” said Mayor Don Minyon.

“When people are here at the fire company and enjoying themselves, they can walk over to the shopping center and enjoy some of the benefits of the stores there or walk across to Rite Aid or Food Lion, stop at Bank’s Liquors, pick up a bottle or something like that,” he added. “I mean, it’s a great thing.”

Indian River High School Band Director Mark Marvel and his band Over Time will return to the festival for three sets of classic rock music.

“He has a great following,” said Minyon of Marvel, “which is a big draw. Plus, he advertises in school so the kids will come.”

IRHS will also be showcasing some of their student talent, led by choral director Ben Ables. Maj. Frank Ryman and his JROTC students will help with the opening ceremony, with a presentation of the flag. And Indian River High School senior Taylor Reeves will be singing the national anthem for the second time.

Other entertainment will include a 30-minute performance by local magician Richard Bloch of Dicken’s Parlour Theatre, which Minyon said will be a great addition for the kids. Kids, and adults, may go for another new addition to the festival.

“I got a request for a bellydancing demonstration. I wasn’t too sure how that would go, but I got my ‘kitchen cabinet’ together and got opinions, and they thought it was art. So we’re going to have a 15-minute demonstration of that as well,” Minyon noted.

Local businesses, such as Perucci’s, will be on-site at the festival, selling various items, such as baked goods. Hershey’s pumpkin ice cream will be sold, along with pumpkin seeds to nosh on.

“Debbie Evans down at Miller’s Creek is making pumpkin fudge, and then she’s bringing a popcorn machine to make caramel popcorn. Fox’s Pizza is new this year, so they’ll be there, as well,” said Minyon.

The Fractured Prune will not be on-site at the fire company grounds, but they will be selling pumpkin donuts in their storefront in the shopping center next door.

Many local businesses have donated prizes for the event’s drawing, as well as money to cover operating costs. Food Lion has donated all the pumpkin pies for the pie-eating contest, while businesses including URS and Millville By the Sea donated money.

Beebe Medical Center also donated money to the event and will also have a stand at the festival grounds at which they will be performing free blood pressure checks for anyone who is interested.

Minyon, who has been helping Councilman Jon Subity plan the festival, said he and Subity are the “uniters of Millville” – not dividers – with their work on the project, and he said he hopes it will be a great success.

“We’re pretty excited,” Minyon concluded.

For more information on the festival, call Millville Town Hall at (302) 539-0449.