There are so many good things about Michigan and one of them is the little town of Zeeland. Just miles from Lakes Michigan it offers so many family oriented events throughout the year with Pumpkinfest being the largest celebration each October. Zeeland has a slogan "Feel the Zeel", it's all about the people and the spirit of a close knit community that's sometimes hard to find these days.
This was the 26th year for Pumkinfest with its theme "Once Upon A Time". All the events are family oriented and can be enjoyed no matter how old or young you are, there's something for everyone and the best part it's almost all free! Festivities start on Thursday and end on Saturday with the big hour long Pumpkinfest parade with over 100 entries. Dressing up in your costume is encouraged and don't forget your pets!!
To give you a idea of all that goes on here's a short list of events:
Children's Story Time, Chalk Art Contest, Children's Games & Face Painting, Pumpkin Seed Spitting Contest, Children's Apple Activities, Pet Contest, Critter Barn (hands on) Education Farm, Pumpkin Hunt, Costume Contest, Balloon Art and more.
Pumpkin Bake Off, Dinner on Us, Chili Cook Off, Character Breakfast, Chicken BBQ Dinner, and the first year ever for the Beer Tent!!
Pumpkinfest Softball Tournament
5K Great Pumpkin Chase Run with a Children's Fun Run beforehand. This took place at the Zeeland Stadium which made it a safe environment for the entire family.
BINGO (for seniors)
Blacksmith Demonstration, Wood Crafts, Sheep Sheering Demo
Pumpkin Picasso Pumpkin Creations, Scarecrow displays and fall decor throughout the town.
On Thursday and Friday events run from 10am to 6:30pm with many of the activities geared after 4pm when the kids are home from school. Saturday is the big day starting at 8am through 7:30pm with the parade at 3pm.
My favorite part was walking around and seeing all the "Once Upon A Time" creations set on every corner and storefront along the two block main street. The pumpkin people around the campfine roasting marshmallows were awesome. There was Charlie Brown and Peanuts, an entire corner of Dr. Suess, Old Mother Who Lived in a Shoe, the entire storyline from the Three Little Pigs, straw house blown down, wood house blown down and the wolf standing in front of the brick house with the three little pumpkin pigs each in a window, Pinnochio and also Little Miss Muffit. There was even a pumpkin family all dressed in rain gear and tucked under umbrellas as it had been a very rainy weekend. That didn't dampen the fun and we look forward to next year and the 27th Annual Pumpkinfest in Zeeland, Michigan!