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All things pumpkin

Renfrew fest carves out a nice day for thousands with pies, chuckings and more

Renfrew fest carves out a nice day for thousands with pies, chuckings and more

October 15, 2006|by KATE S. ALEXANDER/Staff Correspondent

WAYNESBORO, PA. - Waynesboro welcomed fall this weekend with pumpkin pie, pumpkin carving and, of course, pumpkin chucking.

Renfrew Museum and Renfrew Institute hosted the 15th annual Pumpkin Festival on Saturday, where thousands of people enjoyed hayrides, live music, food and flying pumpkins.

Sponsored by M&T Bank, the Pumpkin Festival is Renfrew's largest fundraiser. Planned months in advance, this year's festival included many new elements, including a pumpkin pie contest.

Sue Smith, supervisor of visitor services at Renfrew said the day, and particularly the pie contest, was the work of Bonnie Iseminger, Renfrew's administrator.

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Red Mohn, one of the contest's three judges who confessed to loving pumpkin pie, admitted the contest was "too close to call."

With seven pies to judge, Mohn and fellow judges Mike Mahr and Cheryl Bomar awarded first place to John Hykes and his chiffon pie.

Christine Perla placed second in the contest, and despite her close loss, said she would make her pie again for next year.

After the contest was over, visitors could enjoy a slice of the winning pie or any of the others for a dollar.

While some people waited in line for soup that was cooked over open flames or their slice of winning pie, others were elbow deep in pumpkin.

For between $3 and $5, visitors could purchase a pumpkin and get expert help from Renfrew volunteers either carving or painting their pumpkin.

From beginning to end, the carving tables were packed with children such as Hunter Hippensteel, 8, who devoted all of his attention to creating a "scary face" on the orange flesh of the pumpkin.

But no matter what one was doing, when the trumpet sounded, everyone turned to watch the trebuchet chuck a pumpkin to its demise.

Stephen Perla, 7, cheered as a pumpkin hit the ground, and said the trebuchet was his favorite part of the day.

Enjoying a bowl of soup, Sue Smith called the day a "rousing success."

While Renfrew will not know until next week how much money was raised on Saturday, Lauren Smith, a college student and volunteer at Renfrew, said you could see the success of the day in the faces of those carving pumpkins or watching them fly through the air.

"Renfrew is the gem of this community," she said. "You don't find places like this everywhere."

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