Downtown harvest festival enters sixth year

Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014

RAPID CITY, SD – Pumpkins weighing hundreds of pounds will roll into Downtown Rapid City on Saturday, Sept. 27, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the sixth annual Great Downtown Pumpkin Festival, sponsored by the Rapid City Downtown Association.

“The festival was created with the purpose of celebrating the arrival of fall and showcasing the colors of the season in Downtown Rapid City,” said Megan Whitman, executive director. “The event aims to attract both locals and regional visitors to the heart of our city for a full day of fall- inspired activities.”

The day begins with a drum demonstration by Stevens High School and Central High School, then the drum lines will lead event attendees down Sixth Street to Memorial Park, where the pumpkin catapult, featuring students from the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, will be held. The pumpkin catapult is sponsored by RESPEC.

From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the farmers’ market, vendors and the First United Methodist’s Women’s Ministries bake sale will be open on Sixth St. The Rapid City Rush Foundation Kidz Zone will be on Sixth St. and in Pedestrian Alley, featuring a pumpkin patch, pony rides, face painting, pumpkin painting and more. JDProductions will lead family entertainment in the Square beginning at 10 a.m.

Stop by Arts Rapid City’s booth to check out the pumpkin carving contest and vote on your favorite. The entry deadline is Sept. 15, and pumpkins are due by Sept. 26. Entries are limited to 25. An elite panel of judges will select the “Artsiest” and “Rapid City Inspired.”

All eyes will be on the giant pumpkin weigh off at 11 a.m. on Sixth Street, with cash prizes up for grabs. Rapid City is a certified weigh-off site for the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth, a national organization. To enter a giant pumpkin, please pre-register and arrive between 8 and 10 a.m. The giant pumpkins will be on display until 4 p.m.

Woody Earwood will perform on the Main Street Square Stage, sponsored by Hotel Alex Johnson, from 12:30 to 2 p.m., then again at 3 p.m. The Bud Light Beverage Garden will be open from noon to 6 p.m.

Downtown chefs will compete in the Chef’s Challenge at 2 p.m., sponsored by Someone’s in the Kitchen Chefs from The Blind Lion Speakeasy, Enigma, Hotel Alex Johnson, Isis Hospitality,Murphy’s Pub & Grill, ¿Que Pasa? and the Wine Cellar Restaurant will bring a pumpkin dish that judges will taste.

To wrap up the festival, a Downtown Pub Crawl will take place from 3 to 9 p.m. Participants may visit 445 Lounge, Brass Rail, Firehouse Brewing Co., Firehouse Wine Cellars, Independent Ale House, Murphy’s Pub, Paddy O’Neill’s Pub, ¿Que Pasa?, Thirsty’s, Wobbly Bobby and VFW. A prize drawing will be at Murphy’s at 7 p.m.

“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!” movie will show at the Elks Theatre at 9, 10, 11, noon, 1, 2, 3 and 4 p.m. for a $1 admission with proceeds benefitting the Ronald McDonald House.

The Rapid City Journal and the Elks Theatre have joined together to host the Great Downtown Pumpkin Coloring Contest. Entry forms can be found in the Pumpkin Post. The deadline to enter is Thursday, Sept. 25.

The Rapid City Downtown Association has secured free parking in Downtown Rapid City on Saturday, Sept. 27, for convenience while shopping and attending the Great Downtown Pumpkin Festival. Private parking lots do not apply.

For more information and information on how to enter the various contests, pick up a copy of the Pumpkin Post at racks in Rapid City. The Pumpkin Post will also be a supplement to the Rapid City Journal on Sunday, Sept. 21. Information may also be found at, or by calling (605) 716-7979.

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