Over a thousand community members, many dressed in Halloween costumes, turned out for the 22nd annual Auburn Community Harvest Festival Saturday at the Auburn Recreation Park. The event began as an idea by former Auburn Journal editor Deric Rothe as a way to showcase giant pumpkins. Twenty-two years later, the festival evolved into one of Auburn’s biggest and best Auburn community events.
Sponsored by the Auburn Recreation District and organized by a volunteer committee, the festival included the giant pumpkin contest, the very popular scarecrow contest and a children and pet costume parade and contest led by the Sugar Plump Fairies. Community vendor booths lined the Auburn Recreation Park walkway and bounce houses and a climbing wall were filled with excited children.
The event began at 10 a.m. at the park with the weighing of the giant pumpkins and the judging of the scarecrow entries. The Dang Kid’s trio provided music throughout the day.
“The new but old the recipe contest was back, and there was a vendor contest this year with a Disney theme,” said ARD Recreation Services Manager Sheryl Petersen. “The winner gets a free booth next year.”
Activities including pumpkin decorating for children continued all day. The recipe contest judging of tasty baked goods began at 11 a.m. and the costume parade and contest began at 2 p.m. As in years past, the Sugar Plump Fairies led the parade with their zany antics. Awards were given for best costumes for pets and for children in age groups. The scarecrow awards were announced at 3 p.m. and the festival concluded at 4 p.m.
Donald Timmins of Roseville won the giant pumpkin contest with his prize gourd weighing in at 1,472 pounds. Timmins was also the winner last year. Timmins picked up the $1,000 prize for largest pumpkin and an added bonus of $500 for the largest pumpkin grown in Placer County. Trish Schreiber, a frequent scarecrow contest participant, pocketed the grand prize of $500 for her winning open entry “Leonardo Crow Vinci.” The Placer SPCA won the group category with their entry “Animal House” winning $125.