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Pumpkins to roll in downtown Montague | Events

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Pumpkins to roll in downtown Montague
Events, Families, News

(From the White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce)

Montague, Michigan - When the “ready-set-go” volunteers holler “ready-set-go,” veteran pumpkin rollers get ready to unleash a pack of rolling pumpkins down the Dowling Street Hill in downtown Montague, Michigan.  This quiet West Michigan town comes to life on the second Saturday of October when hundreds of residents and visitors wait in line to roll a small orange gourd down this mid-town hill.

For years, the Montague residents have told stories of late night ‘rollings’ when youngsters raced to outwit authorities by sending pumpkins off the back of pick-up trucks. Now, the ROLL is sanctioned and ribbons and buttons are awarded to the winners of each heat!!

This fun-filled event kicks off with activities and events for kids and adults all morning and into the afternoon.  The Farmer’s Market opens at 8 am on Church Street with produce from the outlying farms. Pumpkins will be rolled, dragged, and carefully carried to the big scale for their weigh in at Lipka’s Old Fashioned Soda Fountain by 9 am where the winner of the largest pumpkin in the area will be awarded “The Montague Pumpkin Cup”! Pumpkin Pies will be arriving at the White Lake Senior Center between 9 – 10 am for the 10:30 judging. The Bake Sale at the Senior Center will run from 9 am-1 pm and the Michigan Child ID Program will be held during the same time. Pies by the slice or whole will be put up for sale as of 11 am. Pumpkins will be painted by youngsters of all ages in front of Todd Pharmacy where the White Lake Optimist Club sponsor the “Pumpkin Painting Event and Contest” beginning at 10 am with judging at noon.  Greenridge Realty will host the carving event for pumpkins that have been carved at home and brought to town by 11 am for the contest, which will be displayed and judged at noon. Prizes will be awarded to the winners.  

Back by popular demand this year are HAYRIDES! Double JJ will be providing leisure rides on a wagon down by the Farmers Market on out to the boat launch and back. Festival attendees are sure to enjoy this added feature. 

Throughout the course of events, the Nuveen Center will host a Youth Art Fair where dozens of budding artists will exhibit their works on Ferry Street from 10 am to 1 pm.  The Utopian Marketplace will host a “Harvest Fest” from 1 pm to 4 pm with an array of activity such as a scarecrow contest, live music, local organic produce, face painting, festival prizes and more! 

The Book Nook and Java Shop welcomes all Blue Ribbon winners to stop in for a complimentary cup of hot cocoa.  Other ‘pumpkin spiced’ specialties will also be available such as steamers, lattes, chai, smoothies and yummy baked goods. Other pumpkin specialties will be featured all over town in addition to the food vendors and even some street entertainment.

Pumpkin Central is the headquarters of the “Registration Team” for the Pumpkin Roll. This will be set up downtown Montague on Ferry Street and open for registration at 9:30 am. The Montague High School DECA volunteers will welcome and register all who want to participate in the ‘roll’. The Pumpkin Roll begins at 11 am and continues until all pumpkins have rolled.  Registration fee to roll is $1.00 with your own pumpkin and $2.00 if you need a pumpkin.  The roll is divided according to age groups: 3 and under; 4 to 6 years; 7 to 12 years; 13 to 18 years; 19 to 69 years; and 70 and over.

Adding to the fall-like events on Ferry Street, attendees will also want to check out the old fashioned operating cider mill with demonstrations to begin at 10 am. Pumpkin Bowling is back! After rollers roll their pumpkins, they can try their hand at knocking down the pins with nothing other than…. their pumpkin! The Pumpkin Bowling event will be held just off Ferry Street in the alley next to the Senior Center. Also following the Pumpkin Roll, everyone is invited to participate in the Seed Spitting Contest to begin at 11 am in front of Lipka’s Old Fashioned Soda Fountain on Ferry Street. Tri County Feed provides plenty of seeds for contenders to spit away!

Hosting this thirteen year old event is the popular mayor of Montague, Henry Roesler.  With his straw hat and denim overalls, Mayor Roesler makes everyone feel welcome and at home.

For more information, contact the White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce at 231-893-4585 or the City of Montague at 231-893-1155 or check out the website, www.whitelake.org.

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