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Great Pumpkin Festival is Saturday

Horse rides provided by Outback Trail Rides will again be part of the Brainerd Parks and Recreation Department's Great Pumpkin Festival Saturday, Oct. 13, at Gregory Park. Photo credit: Brainerd Parks and Recreation Facebook page1 / 2
Children compete in the wheelbarrow race during last year's Great Pumpkin Festival at Gregory Park in Brainerd. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch2 / 2

The 12th annual Great Pumpkin Festival will be 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, at Gregory Park in Brainerd.

Free activities at the family friendly event include bouncy ball races, three-legged races, sack races, wheelbarrow races, pumpkin rolling, pie-throwing event, face painting, arts and crafts, and an air-filled slide.

Three-time Great Pumpkin Festival pie-eating champ Jim Schulz, of the Brainerd parks and recreation department, will face off against Dave Wonders, a DJ at The Pulse radio station known for his local victories eating wings and Culver's frozen custard, in a pumpkin pie-eating contest. Both men will see who can eat two pumpkin pies the fastest without using their hands.

Outback Trail Rides will provide horse rides for a fee.

Attendees will have the opportunity to win free pumpkins donated by Walmart in Baxter.

Food vendors include the Brainerd Lakes Area Women of Today, with proceeds donated back to community.

Saturday's weather forecast shows temperatures in the mid-40s, with a slight chance of showers. Parks and Recreation Director Tony Sailer said there has only been one instance in the event's 12-year history where the event was cut short due to weather. Sailer expects 500-600 people to come out for festivities Saturday.

"It's set up to be a family event," Sailer said. "It's just a fun thing, and people really seem to enjoy it."

For more information, call the Brainerd Parks and Recreation Department at 218-828-2320.

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