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Great flying pumpkins! Edgerton festival features launching contest

EDGERTON — Do you bake up a mean pumpkin or apple pie? Think you can find your way through a corn maze? Ever wondered what happens when a pumpkin is hurled through the air at a high speed?

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Then a visit to the fifth annual Rock River Pumpkin Festival is in order on Saturday.

The celebration was conceived and is coordinated and organized by the staff and students at Southwest Minnesota Christian High School in Edgerton.

“It started out as a small ag-science class project where they grew different kinds of pumpkins in different kinds of soils and had area grade school kids come out for a field day,” explained Denise De Kam, office manager at the school and a steering committee member for the festival. “Then they expanded the pumpkin patch, and the ag teacher, Greg Dyk, said we could make this in to a community event.”

The Rock River Pumpkin Festival has grown each year and now features a full schedule of events that includes a 5K race, vendor fair, entertainment, pie-baking contest, hay rides, carnival and pumpkin-launching contest.

A new addition — The Great Pumpkin Medallion Hunt — is already under way. Clues have been posted on the festival website, The prize package includes a festival T-shirt and gift certificates to local restaurants. As of Wednesday, the medallion had not yet been found.

“There will also be a word scramble on the hay ride,” explained De Kam about another opportunity to win a prize. “There will be letters posted on the light posts on Main Street, and as people take the hay ride, they unscramble the letters, write it on an entry form, and we will draw winners for Chamber bucks.”

Local pastors have been recruited to serve as judges for the tastiest contest of the day —the pie contest.

“We usually get 15 to 20 pies entered,” said De Kam. “There are two categories: apple and pumpkin. The pies need to be registered by 12 p.m. Saturday at the school.”

The most unique event will be the last of the day — the Pumpkin Launching Contest.

“We have teams enter catapults,” explained De Kam. “Last year we had five. They do trial runs with milk jugs filled with water, then for the final competition, the teams that have gone the farthest will do the actual pumpkin launching.”

The main festival will be set up at the school, with hay wagons taking attendees out to the corn maze and pumpkin patch. Concessions will be available throughout the day.

Here is the full slate of events for Saturday:

9 a.m., Pumpkin Run 5K

11 a.m. to 4 p.m., corn maze open (also during October); carnival games, vendor fair, petting zoo, hay rides, horse rides and other events

11 a.m. to 2 p.m., pulled pork lunch served

Noon and 2 p.m., performances by children’s entertainer Phil Baker

1 p.m., Southwest Minnesota Christian High school vs. Mitchell Christian High School soccer match; pie contest judging

4 p.m., Pumpkin Launching Contest

Daily Globe Features Editor Beth Rickers may be reached at 376-7327.

Beth Rickers

Beth Rickers is the veteran in the newspaper staff with 25 years as the Daily Globe's Features Editor. Interests include cooking, traveling and beer tasting and making with her home-brewing husband, Bryan. She writes an Area Voices blog called Lagniappe, which is a Creole term that means "a little something extra." It can be found at  

(507) 376-7327