Powassan is hosting its annual The Great Pumpkin Tour this Saturday.
The weather is looking much better than last year's pumpkin tour when it rained all day.
Despite last year's weather, Municipality of Powassan events coordinator Kathie Hogan says the event still saw solid numbers from the public who wanted to get an idea of what farming is like and buy homemade goods from area vendors.
This Saturday’s event is the third annual tour and Hogan says it’s grown since she first created the event in 2020.
“Two years ago it was a perfect model for COVID because almost everything on our tour was outdoors,” Hogan said.
“So we kept it.”
The one event which took the public inside was the Alderdale General Store and only a few people were let in at a time to conform to maximum capacity rules at the time for indoor events during the pandemic.
Hogan says the general store is back as one of the returning participants and adds this time around owner Victoria Perron is adding music plus there will be a food truck outside the business.
Hogan says Perron is also continuing with having kid's activities in place at the site.
But the event that may attract a huge crowd at the general store is the pie-eating contest.
There will be two contests.
One is scheduled for 1 p.m. and the other at 2 p.m.
There is a small registration fee for participants.
Hogan says Perron isn’t the only business to change things up for the pumpkin tour.
Because the tour attracts large numbers of people from along the Almaguin corridor plus North Bay and area residents, Hogan says the participants have had to rethink how to handle parking and better serve the public.
Over at Adagio Farm in Chisholm and the DeHaan Family Farm in Astorville, in addition to seeing what both farms have to offer, Hogan says more vendors will be at both sites over last year.
This year’s pumpkin tour includes four new sites.
They are the Carriage House Market, the Powassan Farmers Market, St. Joseph's Church in town which has organized a significant bake sale and Sugarstone Farm in Trout Creek.
Hogan says at Sugarstone people can venture onto the family’s sugar bush site and “get a feel for what a sugar bush is like and also enjoy the fall colours at the same time.”
With the exception of the Roots and Roost Farm in Trout Creek, there is no charge for the public to go to any of the pumpkin tour sites.
Roots and Roost owner Greg King charges a small fee to help defray some of the costs of the activities he puts on specifically for the pumpkin tour.
King has a large number of farm animals for people to see and interact with, in addition he's created a corn maze the public can walk through and several vendors are also at the site.
Maps of the pumpkin tour are available at 250 Clark until the end of the business day Friday.
Hogan says going online lets people print off their own map.
If that's not possible Hogan suggests people start the pumpkin tour at Krause Farms Food and Feed right after the Highway 11 South off ramp into Powassan where numerous maps will be available.
Maps will also be available at some participating pumpkin tour sites like Powassan Home Hardware and Foxfire Heritage Farm in Powassan but Hogan warns the maps could also run out.
Hogan says at the Krause site the public will also see hand-sewn stuffed decorative pumpkins made by Sarah Evers of Trout Creek.
Evers’ two young children will be selling the decorative pumpkins and all the money that’s raised goes to Sundridge-based Almaguin Pet Rescue.
At 15 sites, this is the largest number of locations The Great Pumpkin Tour has had in its short history.
The other participating sites are Pineridge Acres in Chisholm, Powassan Flowers and Country Favourites, Trout Creek Feed Store and Wand Family Farm in Powassan.
In addition to seeing things like the workings of family farms, the public can buy baked goods and hand-crafted items, plus their children get to interact with some of the smaller farm animals.
The Great Pumpkin Tour takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.