PumpkinFest: A St. Joseph Tradition You Won’t Want to Miss

Each year, the second full weekend of October offers a special St. Joseph tradition–PumpkinFest. This fall festival, which is sponsored by and located at the Pony Express Museum, is a fun family event that you won’t want to miss. Here’s more about the festival and what you can expect.


This year, PumpkinFest runs from Friday October 12 through Sunday October 14. The ceremonies start at 4:55 p.m. Friday evening and will wrap up around 4:00 Sunday afternoon. Check the entertainment schedule to get a good idea about when festivities begin and end each day.


PumpkinFest happens directly in front of the Pony Express Museum at 914 Penn St.

What’s at PumpkinFest

PumpkinFest is a free family arts festival that celebrates the fall harvest with live entertainment, a child’s costume contest and parade, rides, games, storytelling, crafts, and food. Although there is plenty of family-appropriate entertainment throughout the whole weekend, my favorite part of this festival is the lighting of the Great Pumpkin Mountain, which happens Friday evening at 8:00.

Great Pumpkin Mountain

Hundreds of carved pumpkins sit on scaffolding in front of the Pony Express Museum. It’s entertaining enough to check out the carvings in the daytime. However, it’s purely magical when they simultaneously lite all the jack-o-lanterns. The glow from Great Pumpkin Mountain is not one that your kids will soon forget.


Be sure to also check out storyteller Will Stuck, performer BJ Talley, whip master Aubrey “Whip-It” Zechariah, and the popular local band Oxymoron. These are just some of my favorites of the many acts performing over the weekend. Click here to see the full PumpkinFest entertainment schedule.

Children’s Costume Parade

If you have little ones, you won’t want to miss Saturday’s costume parade. Registration for the parade starts at 10, and the parade itself starts at 11. (If it’s raining at 11, the parade time will be at 3.) Here’s a link to their registration form.

Children’s Tent

There is even a special section of the park dedicated strictly to children and child-appropriate activities and crafts. The hours for the Children’s Tent are:  Friday 5:00-7:45, Saturday noon-7:00, and Sunday noon-4:00.

Carnival Rides and Food

In years past, PumpkinFest has had carnival rides and food around the perimeter of the park. This makes it very easy to grab food when you’re hungry and enjoy rides between shows.

Mark Your Calendar!

With PumpkinFest this weekend, you’ll want to mark your calendar now so that you don’t miss all the fun! Come out and celebrate the fall harvest with tons of family-appropriate activities.

Move Your Family Closer to the Fun

If you’re thinking of moving your family closer to the fun available in St. Joseph, give Ramseier Realty Group a call. We’d love to help you find the perfect new home for you and your family. Give us a call today at 816.262.8077 or visit our website to learn about our team members and how we can help.