“Pumpkin Fest” at Town Creek Features Propelling Pumpkins and a Torchlight Trail Walk

Town Creek Indian Mound
Mount Gilead

From morning to night, Town Creek Indian Mound will pay homage to the harvest and respect to American Indian traditions at “Pumpkin Fest” Oct. 28. The celebration of early foods and pumpkins by day, and Jack-o-lanterns by night, will delight visitors with old-fashioned fun.

Start the day at 8 a.m. with a Trick-or-Treat 5k & Fun Run to benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Information for runners is at www.3mit.com/stjude.  

The daytime program, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., will highlight roasting potatoes and preparing corn on the cobb to showcase the traditional preparations for winter in the Pee Dee Culture. Staff will demonstrate the process using an open-pit drying rack employed to stock up food stores with dried meats and vegetables to last through the winter. The fragrances of fall will be heightened as local Junior Historians prepare a pumpkin based dish for visitors to sample. Dried beans, squash and sweet potatoes will be on display.

Visitors who carve a pumpkin will get a free ticket to the nature trail walk that night. Town Creek will supply pumpkins and woodland or Indian themed patterns for a $2 fee. Guests will be encouraged to “free style” as well. Only pumpkins provided by the site can be used and you can pick up your jack-o-lantern Sunday afternoon to take home.

Boy Scout Troop 81’s award winning, 14-foot trebuchet will fling pumpkins and gallon milk jugs of colored water for your viewing pleasure. During the free display, spectators also will be allowed to “pull the trigger” to launch the payload from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The evening’s “A Pumpkin Promenade” on the nature trail, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., will feature pumpkins carved that day. The decorated and lit pumpkins will light guided trail walks departing every 20 minutes. Torches will mark the north and south tower entrance to the village, and the mound will glow in torchlight. The fee for the pumpkin promenade is $3 for adults and under age 10, $1.

The mission of Town Creek is to interpret the history of the American Indians who once lived here. The visitor center features interpretive exhibits and audiovisual displays. A national historic landmark, Town Creek Indian Mound State Historic Site is North Carolina’s only state historic site dedicated to American Indian heritage. 

Tour groups are welcome and encouraged. The site is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, 1-5 p.m. It is closed to the public Mondays and most major holidays. The historic site is within the Division of State Historic Sites and located at 509 Town Creek Mound Road, Mount Gilead, N.C, 27306. For more information on Town Creek, visit www.towncreekindianmound.com

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