Ninth Annual Great Downtown Pumpkin Festival

Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017 | 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Downtown's biggest festival, The Great Downtown Pumpkin Festival, returns for a ninth year on Saturday, Sept. 30. Visit Main Street Square, venture down Sixth St., and into Memorial Park for
a pumpkin catapult, giant pumpkin weigh-off, Downtown chef competition, Downtown pub crawl, the Regional Health and Scull Construction Kidz Zone, vendors and more. The community-wide celebration of harvest season brings an estimated 25,000 people together for a day of fall fun! Major Event Sponsor, Hungry For Truth South Dakota.

Pumpkin Catapult
3… 2… 1… Launch! Teams from the Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Production (CAMP) at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology star in Pumpkin Chuckin’ at 10 a.m. in Memorial park. For more information about CAMP, visit The Pumpkin Catapult is sponsored by RESPEC.

Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off
Before dawn the morning of the event, giant pumpkins can be seen in pick-up beds and on trailers heading to Downtown Rapid City. The pumpkin festival is a certified Great Pumpkin Commonwealth weigh-off site, where the pumpkins are carefully inspected, measured and weighed. The Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off is co-sponsored by Black Hills State University-Rapid City and Black Hills Federal Credit Union.

Top 2016 Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off Winners
1st place: 1292 pounds, Kevin Marsh, Parker, SD
2nd place: 981 pounds, Dustin Grubbs, Scotts Bluff, NE
3rd place: 573 pounds, Elaine Hook, Rapid City, SD
4th place: 488 pounds, Jerry Hook, Rapid City, SD
5th place: 421 pounds, Virginia Reidt and Broc Kilber, Rapid City, SD

Ugliest Pumpkin: 142 pounds, Bill McElroy, Rapid City, SD
Howard Dill Award: 298 pounds, James and Kathy Layns, Rapid City, SD
Largest Watermelon: 157 pounds, Kevin Marsh, Parker, SD
Largest Squash: 91 pounds, Ethan Hook, Rapid City, SD 

Downtown Chef Challenge
A battle of culinary skills will ensue on Main Street Square’s stage. Downtown Rapid City chefs will compete for a first place prize, and most importantly, bragging rights, in the sixth annual Downtown Chef Challenge. Each chef is required to prepare a dish with pumpkin as an ingredient. The gourd may star in the dish, or it may have a supporting role. The recipes for the dishes will be available on site. 

2016 Downtown Chef Challenge Winners
1st Place: Braised Short Rib and Pumpkin Ravioli with Herbed Pumpkin Cream Sauce, Cody Bartels, (kōl)
2nd Place: Richard Adams, Hotel Alex Johnson
3rd Place: Daniel Orwa, Murphy’s Pub & Grill

View the 2016 Downtown Chef Challenge winning recipe HERE.

Downtown Pub Crawl
Downtown establishments have joined in the Great Downtown Pumpkin Festival with a Pub Crawl from 3 to 9 p.m. Pub crawl badge holders will receive discounts on beer, wine, cocktails, or soda at participating businesses. 

Free Parking in Downtown Rapid City
Extend your day Downtown with shopping and dining, while enjoying free parking in all Downtown public lots, metered spaces on the streets, and in the parking ramp near Main Street Square ALL DAY on Saturday, Sept. 30

2017 Major Event Sponsor

2017 Pumpkin Catapult Sponsor

2017 Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off Co-Sponsor


2017 Harvest Market Sponsor


2017 Stage Sponsor

2017 Progress Sponsor

2017 Beverage Garden Sponsor

2017 Kidz Zone Co-Sponsors  



2017 Media Sponsor

 Funding for the Great Downtown Pumpkin Festival is provided in part by Black Hills and Badlands Tourism Association.