First-ever pumpkin festival attracts ‘great turnout’ of people to Beccles

Beccles 2016 pumpkin festival.PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Beccles 2016 pumpkin festival.PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

An inaugural festival has been hailed as a 'huge success' after more than 1,000 people entered into the spirit of Halloween.

Beccles 2016 pumpkin festival.Mist rolls in across the meadows as people walk to the festival.PHOTO:

Beccles 2016 pumpkin festival.Mist rolls in across the meadows as people walk to the festival.PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Some spooky goings on transformed an old Beccles haunt as the town's first-ever Pumpkin Festival attracted a fine turnout of families on Saturday evening.

And as the mist descended over The Avenue – a walkway between the train station and the common – at dusk last night, it was a fitting scene for an event that created a 'great atmosphere' in Beccles.

With 27 corporate pumpkins decorated by businesses lining the strip, they were interspersed with 50 smaller pumpkins, which had been carved and lit by children and adults.

Visitors had to vote for their favourite corporate entry, and the winner was the pumpkin created by Beccles Library, with Beccles Helping Hands in second. There was also a Halloween fancy dress competition for boys and girls aged up to 16 and a contest for adults as well. With 33 stalls – including face painting, tombolas and crafts – adding to the atmosphere, the event was hailed a success.

Beccles 2016 pumpkin festival.PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Beccles 2016 pumpkin festival.PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher


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Yvette Tackley, part of the organising committee, said: 'It was packed from 4.30pm – you could not move. We did not expect it to be so busy, with more than 1,000 people turning out.

'To get 27 corporate pumpkins for our first event is really good, and we are thrilled with how it all went.'

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With the amounts raised from the festival still being tallied, the organising team – which is also responsible for running Beccles Carnival – will be donating proceeds to this year's mayor's appeal. During his time in office, Graham Catchpole is hoping to raise £25,000 to re-lay the walkway at The Avenue and tidy up the area.

Mr Catchpole judged the fancy dress competitions and give out prizes to the winners. He praised the event's organising committee for making the festival a resounding success.

Beccles 2016 pumpkin festival.Fancy dress competitors.PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Beccles 2016 pumpkin festival.Fancy dress competitors.PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

'This was the first time that a pumpkin festival has been held in Beccles and there was a great turnout. We hoped to get a few hundred people attend, but there must have been a few thousand.

'The children and adults all got into the spirit of the event and I am absolutely delighted – to be honest, a bit overwhelmed. A big thank you goes to the organising committee for all their hard work.'

? For more details, and photos from the inaugural Beccles Pumpkin Festival, see our next edition.

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