The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Bessemer Pumpkin Festival rings in fall


October 1, 2018

Richard Jenkins

FINNEGAN BYRNE, of Ironwood, selects which pumpkin he wants to take home from the Gogebic County 4-H display Saturday during the 40th annual Pumpkin Festival in Bessemer.

BESSEMER - While the temperature left little doubt fall has arrived on the Gogebic Range, the lack of rain or much wind meant the crowds were out in Bessemer Saturday for the 40th annual Pumpkin Festival.

"(It) is going well ... there's no rain and the wind is minimal," festival co-chair Donna Frello said. "So it's going as good as can be expected when it's 40 degrees."

Along with popular annual staples such as the craft fair, Klassic Kruiser's car show, kiddies parade, and pumpkin decorating contest; Frello said this year's festival featured an appearance by the band Lake Effect and a zombie pub crawl and scavenger hunt as new activities.

"We encourage people to dress as zombies and we've got a bus taking them from establishment to establishment, and at the end they're going to meet here in town at the Ethnic Commons park," Frello said.

Richard Jenkins

FESTIVAL GOERS rides free carnival rides in downtown Bessemer Saturday during the city's 40th annual Pumpkin Festival.

While this year's event isn't expected to break attendance records, Frello said she was pleased

"People are smiling, so that counts," she joked.

Any money raised from the weekend goes towards next year's festival, Frello said.

"We sell 50/50 tickets and we also do other things like the craft fair to raise revenue," she explained. "But all of it goes into being able to put on the next festival."

Along with providing pumpkins to decorate as well as face-painting and balloon animals, kids could ride several amusement rides for free.

"We have a free carnival," Frello said. "How many places can you go where the kids can ride rides last night and all day today at no cost?"

She thanked all the volunteers and community support for making the annual festival possible.

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