Dear Mummy, Halloween is fast approaching and we took the opportunity to celebrate the harvest and visit The Autumn Pumpkin Festival at Royal Victoria Country Park, in Southampton.
This seasonal extravaganza was hosted by the Jubilee Sailing Trust, and in its 19th year people brought their biggest and best pumpkins and supersize vegetables to be judged. We couldn’t believe our eyes seeing the tallest sunflower and the largest cabbage on display.
But it was all about the pumpkins. In the hotly contested heaviest pumpkin competition, brothers Stuart and Ian Paton, from Lymington, broke their own record. Their giant pumpkin came in at a whopping 162 stone – which smashed their previous UK record by 15lbs.
We also saw lots of scarecrows with visitors bringing gruesome and funny characters to the festival. Some made by school children and others by local businesses.
We enjoyed walking down Scarecrow Avenue looking at all the creations made by the local community. Our favourite was a Harry Potter scarecrow and on display they had Minions, fairytale characters and even the odd celebrity.
Across the day there were a number of stalls serving autumnal food and drink. There was music, dance, crafts, storytelling and people offering up gardening advice to visitors inspired by the giant vegetables. See our video 🙂
Entrance was £5 for an adult and children were free and it great fun for the whole family with seasonal games, free kids circus activities, a Punch and Judy show along with bouncy castles. Even the emergency services got involved bringing down a police scarecrow and the opportunity for kids to dress up in uniform. The Fire engine drew crowds as children wanted to ride it. Great community engagement and we had a lot of fun playing dress-up.
The live music was the perfect accompaniment while browsing the autumn themed gift stands and craft stalls. They even had Christmas items displayed. Loads of visitors got into the spirit of Halloween and also dressed up. We were most impressed (and scared) by the lady with the pumpkin head! Like something out of Sleepy Hollow!
It was a lovely day out and we enjoyed seeing all the super-sized vegetables and to celebrate the bountiful harvest. It was great for local charities too and we found out a lot about community services. We’d definitely recommend a visit to the Autumn Festival at Netley next year!
love Bella x
Have you celebrated the harvest this year?