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Renfrew Pumpkin Festival 'the best way to spend the day'

Even though trebuchet was missing, there were plenty of activities to keep everyone busy

October 20, 2012|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com
  • Rylie Keckler, 7, of Waynesboro, Pa., puts the finishing touches on her pumpkin Saturday at the 19th annual Pumpkin Festival at Renfrew Park in Waynesboro.
By Roxann Miller, Staff Writer

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — With plenty of homemade food, live music, hayrides, pumpkin carving and a full day of activities, the 19th annual Pumpkin Festival was a smashing success for all ages.

“We expect more than 1,000 people. It’s just been a perfect day,” said Melodie Anderson-Smith, director of the Renfrew Institute in Waynesboro.

The event is a fundraiser for the Renfrew Institute and Renfrew Museum and Park.

It was Dave and Linda Stottlemyer’s lucky day when they happened upon the activities at Renfrew.

The Chambersburg, Pa., couple were watching their grandchildren, Nolan, 4, and Elyn, 2, and decided to go for a walk at Renfrew Park.

The festival was a nice surprise, Linda Stottlemyer said.

“It gets them outside, and they like being outside,” said Dave Stottlemyer, holding two pumpkins that the grandchildren picked from the festival.

Landen Bistline, 5, of Fayetteville, Pa., tried his hand at the corn toss game while his family watched.

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“This is the first time we attended,” said Landen’s mother, Amanda Bistline.

But she said it won’t be their last.

Landen, his brother, Max, 3, his sister, Natalie, 1, and his grandmother, Trudy Alleman, of Orrstown, Pa., plan to make the Pumpkin Festival part of their fall plans.

“We think it’s fun. We made two scarecrows, and we went on a hayride,” Bistline said.

Scarecrow making was a popular destination for just about everyone at the festival.

Making a scarecrow was a family project for the Kline family.

Emma Kline of Hagerstown held the scarecrow’s pants while Liam, 3, stuffed straw into the legs and her husband, John, worked diligently on the shirt.

This is the first time the Klines have been to the Pumpkin Festival. But they plan to be regular attendees.

“We wanted to be outside and thought this was the best way to spend the day,” Emma Kline said.

There were plenty of activities to keep everyone busy, but one mainstay of the festival that was missing was the medieval pumpkin launcher known as a trebuchet.

“The trebuchet is broken,” Anderson-Smith said. “One of the captains of that team is working abroad. So we had to give it a rest for a year. We’re hoping to bring it back.”

It will be expensive to repair, she said.

When it originally was constructed, she said it cost about $20,000. But Anderson-Smith said local businesses contributed to the project.

“We need some new recruits — professional engineers — who would get enjoyment out of helping with the trebuchet,” she said. “It’s a huge undertaking.”

She said the arm of the trebuchet needs to be repaired in order for the launcher to return to the festival.

To fill in for the missing trebuchet, several other activities were added to the event, including a slingshot.

“The kids are having a great time with it,” said Kirsten Hubbard of the Mason Dixon Council.

The object of the new activity was to launch a soft, yellow ball into the air using a water balloon slingshot, ultimately knocking the head off of one of five scarecrows in the field.

“They are having a fantastic time. They are getting better and better at it,” Hubbard said.

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