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MILTON — There are a few local signs of fall: cooler temperatures, leaves changing colors and the return of the West Virginia Pumpkin Festival.

The festival dedicated to autumn’s iconic fruit takes place at the West Virginia Pumpkin Park, which is located at 1 Pumpkin Way, Milton, from Thursday, Oct. 7, to Sunday, Oct. 10. The longtime festival “was designed to help farmers with the raising and selling of pumpkins,” according to the event’s website.

The parade was held in Milton on Sunday as a kickoff to the festival later in the week. Last year, the parade that typically accompanies the festival was held in a drive-by style that became routine during the coronavirus pandemic. This year’s festival will feature vendors, live music and more.

School Days are from 9 a.m. to noon on the Thursday and Friday of the festival, which means that ticket pricing per student is $3 without group discounts. Teachers, aides and bus drivers can attend for free. Other tickets will be $5 until noon. General admission tickets will be $8 from noon to 9 p.m. on those days.

On Saturday and Sunday, tickets are $10. The festival is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Groups of 12 or more can save $2 per ticket when buying at one time. Children 5 and under can go for free.

Here’s the schedule of events:

THURSDAY, OCT. 7

School Day

9 a.m. — Gates open and Opening Prayer followed by the Pledge of Allegiance

9 a.m. — Large pumpkins on display, sponsored by Putnam County Bank

10 a.m. — Heroes 4 Higher, Batman will teach “The 4 Steps to Greatness and Overcoming” at the Ohio Valley Bank Outdoor Stage, Mr. Puppet Strolling Entertainment

Noon — Heroes 4 Higher, Batman will teach “The 4 Steps to Greatness and Overcoming” at the Ohio Valley Bank Outdoor Stage

5:30 p.m. — Creek Don’t Rise (Blues) at the Ohio Valley Bank Outdoor Stage

7:30 p.m. — Wood & Wine (Acoustic) at the Ohio Valley Bank Outdoor Stage

9 p.m. — Gates close

FRIDAY, OCT. 8

School Day

9 a.m. — Gates open and Opening Prayer followed by the Pledge of Allegiance

9 a.m. — Large pumpkins on display, sponsored by Putnam County Bank

10 a.m. — Heroes 4 Higher, Batman will teach “The 4 Steps to Greatness and Overcoming” at the Ohio Valley Bank Outdoor Stage, Mr. Puppet Strolling Entertainment

Noon — Heroes 4 Higher, Batman will teach “The 4 Steps to Greatness and Overcoming” at the Ohio Valley Bank Outdoor Stage

5 p.m. — Mothman (Soft Rock) at the Ohio Valley Bank Outdoor Stage

7 p.m. — The Jake Eddy Trio (Bluegrass) at the Ohio Valley Bank Outdoor Stage

9 p.m. — Gates close

SATURDAY, OCT. 9

9 a.m. — Gates open and Opening Prayer followed by the Pledge of Allegiance

9 a.m. — Large pumpkins on display, sponsored by Putnam County Bank

10 a.m. — WV Pumpkin Festival Royalty Presentation at the Ohio Valley Bank Outdoor Stage

11 a.m. — Patrick Stanley (Acoustic) at the Ohio Valley Bank Outdoor Stage

1 p.m. — Tim Browning (Acoustic) at the Ohio Valley Bank Outdoor Stage

3 p.m. — Massing (Rock) at the Ohio Valley Bank Outdoor Stage

4 p.m. — Heroes 4 Higher, Batman will teach “The 4 Steps to Greatness and Overcoming” at the Ohio Valley Bank Outdoor Stage

5 p.m. — Corduroy Brown (Folk Rock) at the Ohio Valley Bank Outdoor Stage

6 p.m. — Heroes 4 Higher, Batman will teach “The 4 Steps to Greatness and Overcoming” at the Ohio Valley Bank Outdoor Stage

7 p.m. — Flat Tracker (Rock-n-Roll) at the Ohio Valley Bank Outdoor Stage

9 p.m. — Gates close

SUNDAY, OCT. 10

9 a.m. — Gates open and Opening Prayer followed by the Pledge of Allegiance

9 a.m. — Large pumpkins on display, sponsored by Putnam County Bank

Noon — Heroes 4 Higher, Batman will teach “The 4 Steps to Greatness and Overcoming” at the Ohio Valley Bank Outdoor Stage

1:30 p.m. — Heroes 4 Higher, Batman will teach “The 4 Steps to Greatness and Overcoming” at the Ohio Valley Bank Outdoor Stage

2 p.m. — Scholarship presentation at the Ohio Valley Bank Outdoor Stage

3 p.m. — Large Pumpkins Auction, sponsored by Putnam County Bank, proceeds benefit the WVPF Scholarship Program

4:30 p.m. — WV Pumpkin Festival Scholarship Auction, at the Ohio Valley Bank Outdoor Stage, items donated by the festival arts and crafts and commercial vendors, proceeds benefit the WVPF Scholarship Program

6 p.m. — Closing Prayer and gates close.

McKenna Horsley is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch, covering local government in Huntington and Cabell County. Follow her on Twitter @Mckennahorsley.

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