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Armstrong’s pumpkin festival a smash

Chamber of commerce pleased with how community came together to celebrate return of popular fall festival
Jordan Abbate (left) was the winner of the largest pumpkin grown for the annual contest during the 21st Harvest Pumpkin Festival in Armstrong Oct. 10-12. Abbate’s winning gourd weighed in at 948 pounds. (Contributed)

The Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce is extending its gratitude to everyone who attended its 21st annual Harvest Pumpkin Festival.

There was an excellent turnout, said chamber president Sean Newton, adding the board was grateful to have been able to continue the festival tradition.

“These past few years have been tough on so many of us and the opportunity to come together this year has made this event really special,” said Newton.

Beginning on Friday, Oct. 10, residents and visitors checked out the record number of ‘Scarecrows in the Street’ with everything from fishing scarecrows to Fluffy’s revenge. Each entry was carefully thought out and executed.

The 21st annual Harvest Pumpkin Festival ‘Family Day’ was action-packed with tons of family-friendly activities including festive face painting, Horse Drawn Okanagan wagon rides, Mostly Minis baby goats, Vintage Swing Circus show by Kinshira Performance Troupe, live music on the Selkirk Mountain Music Society stage, the youth-sized Great Pumpkin Catapult and a pancake breakfast hosted by the Armstrong Lions.

Those enjoying the event could also take in local artisans and learn a new skill at the drop-in art classes, and check out the Armstrong Farmers Market and pick up a pumpkin by donation to NONA (North Okanagan Neurological Association), organized by Swanson Mountain Fitness.

Not forgetting the reason for the festival, there was also Pumpkin Bowling hosted by the Armstrong Legion and the infamous Great Pumpkin Weigh-In sponsored by Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union.

Taking home the ultimate pumpkin-grower crown for the third time in the adult category was Jordan Abbate for his great pumpkin weighing in at 948 pounds. Abbate not only earned bragging rights but a $500 grand prize. Winner in the youth category was Isaac Vanderliest.

The last two days of the festival, which normally would have seen the Demolition Derby and Great Pumpkin Walk/Run, were a little quieter this year but residents could still enjoy the NOS Barn Quilt self-guided tour and many hiked up Rose Swanson Mountain to take in the fall colours.

Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce executive director Patti Noonan praised Abbate and all the hard work of everyone who helped make this year a total success.

“Thanksgiving weekend is a time where we all can gather with friends and family and share what we’re grateful for,” she said. “I know I am grateful for the efforts of all our staff, board of directors, volunteers, non-profits organizations, vendors, and community members.”

For more information on the festival or to find out about the 2022 event follow them on Facebook or contact the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce 250-546-8155 or

READ MORE: Harvest Pumpkin Festival returns to Armstrong

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