Get into fall with the Hartsburg pumpkin festival


Kat Sarafianos

The Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival has completed another successful year of getting Boone County residents into the Autumn spirit.
The weekend festival took place Saturday, Oct. 10th to Sunday, Oct. 11th in the small village of Hartsburg, Missouri.
With a total population of 103, according to the 2010 census, Hartsburg had difficulty in the past facilitating a group of a couple thousand festival goers, even for just one weekend.
According to, the village in previous years has tried to create a shuttling service or alternative parking center, but the town’s infrastructure and compact streets couldn’t support the festival traffic.
In order to make the festival possible this year, the village was closed and festival goers had to take Old Highway 63 and several small connecting streets to arrive at the festival instead of going through the town as per usual.
However, the route change this year did not deter the smooth course of the festival. With more than 100 local food, crafts and game vendors catering to the festival, there was always something new to try everywhere you turned, from DeDe’s kettle corn to chocolate covered cheesecake on a stick.
Starting with the food, this festival hits the spot for any festival goer. It was the only festival I’ve been to where you could have one booth selling deep fried hostess snacks, ribeye steak sandwiches and fresh cherry pie all within 10 feet of each other.
In terms of shopping, the festival allowed many local artisans to share their craft with the community. All unique and well made, there was always something new to look at. In one booth, the gentleman in charge was selling fur goods like hats, bags, and coats all made out of animals he had caught himself. For those not a fan of fur, right next door was a jewelry booth with hand made silver accessories made from kitchen silverware.
After looking around the shops, my family and I were able to sit and enjoy local jazz musicians play their music as children went to play on the nearby jungle gym in the middle of the shopping area.
My favorite part of the festival though, without a doubt, was the pumpkin patch. With pre cut pumpkins statically hidden around the patch, you were able to feel the excitement of picking pumpkins without have to deal with cutting the prickly stems.
This family friendly event offered so much and left me and my siblings exhausted and happy by the end of the day. I strongly recommend this festival to all nearby residents and visitors passing through. You’ll surely find something to enjoy at this annual October small town celebration.[vc_gallery interval=”3″ images=”277025″]