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By Margaret Toal
For the Record 

Orange is for pumpkins this weekend


Last updated 10/3/2023 at 7:52pm

It's going to be a gourd-geous weekend at the Orange Riverfront Pavilion with days of activities, music, and food during the Third Annual Orangetober Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

And in preparation for the festival, Dow Chemical and the Orange County United Way are hosting another Together Thursday on October 5. The free outdoor concert will feature the group Straight Tequila Night playing 1990s country music.

The concert will start at 6:30 p.m. at the covered Riverfront Pavilion at the Orange Boat Ramp off Simmons Drive. People should bring lawn chairs to sit. Food trucks will be selling items and there will be outdoor games. Coolers will be allowed, but no pets.

Orangetober is sponsored by the City of Orange Convention and Visitors Bureau, which brings in thousands of pumpkins and gourds of all shapes and sizes. City employees and volunteers, including a group from Orangefield High, spend hours unloading the pumpkins and turning them into designs of fall colors. Several sites are set up to offer the perfect photo background for family snapshots.

The pavilion grounds will be open from 4 to 9 p.m. with food trucks, games, and activities. No coolers or pets will be allowed. At 7:30 p.m., a free showing of the family movie "Halloweentown" will begin. Attendees should bring lawn chairs.

The Big Pumpkin Run sponsored by 3 Bros Running Company will start early Saturday morning with runners and walkers starting at the pavilion and going through the old downtown and historic district, then circling back.

Gates at the Orangetober Festival will open at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Besides the elaborate pumpkin and gourd displays, there will be vendors with a variety of items, arts and crafts for children, fun games and a competitive competition of corn-hole.

The Orange Lions Club is sponsoring a gumbo cookoff with competitors selling bowls after the judging, which will begin at noon. Food trucks will include one from the Little Cypress Lions, Ice Cream Shack, Bobz Smokehouse, Chuck Wagon, Funnel'd, Cajunxion, Miss B's Takeout, Miss B's Sno-Cones, Rudy's Ka-Bobs, Carter's Country Cookin', Home Plate, Mice Ice, Wing Junkiez, Big Daddy's, and Bobby's Smokehouse.

Craft beer will be on sale and Free State Winery of Orange will sell its local products.

Orange County AgriLife Extension is sponsoring the pumpkin pie eating contest. Youth ages 8-12 will compete at 11 a.m. The teen competition for ages 13-17, will begin at 11:30 a.m., and the adult category for ages 18 and older will be at noon. Registration is online at the OC AgriLife website, or by calling the office at 409-882-7010.

Live bands will play in the afternoon through into the night. The schedule is Jody Bartula and the Barflies at 3 p.m., J.T. Reserve at 5 p.m., Big Jordan Band at 7 p.m., and Cody Canady and the Departed at 9 p.m.

No pumpkins or gourds will be allowed to be taken off the grounds until Sunday. Beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday, people will be able to enter the gates and take free pumpkins. No vehicles will be allowed on the grounds, but people may bring wagons to haul the gourds.


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