Relays and huge pumpkins highlight harvest festival

The final Coupeville Farmers Market of 2013 features a celebration.

Relay races and a giant pumpkin contest are just some of the highlights of HarvestFest, which takes place during the Coupeville Farmer’s Market 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12 at the community green located behind the Coupeville Public Library.

“It’s great fun and a chance for customers to appreciate the market,” said market manager Peg Tennant. HarvestFest marks the completion of the market’s 35th consecutive season.

HarvestFest relays, which also benefit Gifts from the Heart food bank, features teams competing in a series of races that Tennant is currently keeping under wraps. As for what kind of races, Tennant said she is keeping that a “deep, dark secret.”

She doesn’t want any of the teams to gain an unfair advantage by practicing beforehand.

One thing is for sure, several of the stages won’t take place this year. She said there won’t be a fish toss and the milking contest has been pulled too. It turns out the wooden cow used for the relays has been taken out to pasture.

“The poor cow is getting too fragile to handle the intensity of competition,” Tennant said.

Six teams have currently signed up to compete and Tennant said she is looking for more. Teams that have signed up include farm interns, Town of Coupeville staff, women from the Lions Club, the Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association and the Pacific Northwest Art Center. Tennant said people can pick up an entry form at the market or at the food bank location on North Main Street. The entry fee is $100 per team. The proceeds from that go to the food bank.

In addition to the relays, the ever-popular Giant Pumpkin Contest takes place. Competitors come together to see who grows the largest squash. In previous years, pumpkins have topped the 1,000-pound mark. Awards are also given for biggest and ugliest pumpkins. A competition also takes place to find the largest zucchini as well.

It looks like there will be a new contest winner this year. Contest winners in previous years aren’t participating next week, according to a press release submitted by contest organizer Lee Roof.

Growers have to bring their entries to the Coupeville Farmers Market by 11 a.m. Weigh-in will take place around noon following the relay races.

Tennant said the market has had a successful 2013 with around 40 vendors, which includes 17 farmers, selling during each market.


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