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Autumnfest provides plenty of chances for fun

Oct. 28, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

CEREDO -- In three short years, C-K Autumnfest has gone from a two-day offshoot of the famous Pumpkin House to its own attraction with five days' worth of events in the tag-team Ceredo and Kenova communities.

Watching over all of the events is Ed Layman, president of the nine-member festival board, who in the first year of the festival provided its entire budget -- which was nine dollars in total.

Layman said they were focused on doing everything they could to provide a good time for residents on a tight budget.

"We just got together and started with some ideas and really wanting to make them happen," Layman said. "Obviously the budget is bigger now, but we really are sticking to our guns about providing people with a free or very low-cost way to have a good time."

The festival arrived more than a decade after Ric Griffith's Pumpkin House began attracting people from far and wide to the area, but the event was a one-stop deal. Guests would leave the area after making a lap around the house.

"We had the opposite problem of most towns," Griffith said earlier this week. "Most towns have a festival and not enough people, but we had thousands of people and no festival to keep them here."

Now, on the way to, or coming from, the Pumpkin House, there is plenty of hustle and bustle to engage in throughout town, whether it's the "Wonder"ful Pumpkin Race, a cruise-in, an entire building of crafts or a pumpkin-carving contest. Additionally, a variety of food vendors have set up shop in front of the Pumpkin House along Beech Street in Kenova.

It's all a good sign of things to come, Layman said.

"We just want to keep the families and their kids happy," he said. "We want to make something that is so special to this area that the kids who are coming here now will want to carry it on when we are gone."

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