MILFORD — Zombies will be wandering the Milford Oval this weekend as the 24th annual Great Pumpkin Festival brings a little Halloween magic to downtown.
The Great Pumpkin Festival begins on Friday at 5 p.m. with live music on the Milford Oval, a chili roundup and a beer and wine tasting event on the Community House lawn, and a haunted trail at Emerson Park.
The opening ceremonies for the festival will take place on the oval at 6:45 p.m. where the Citizen of the Year will be named and the “Pumpkin Runner” will light up Town Hall. Later, the sky will be lit up with the annual fireworks show, designed especially for Halloween.
On Saturday, there will be some classic events and some new ones, according to Tracey Hutchins, executive director of the Milford Improvement Team which organizes the festival each year.
One of the new events is a zombie walk hosted by the Milford Recreation Department. Folks dressed in their un-deadliest best will wander through town, scoring prizes for the best or most gruesome costumes. The Walk of the Dead will begin at 6:30 p.m. on the Community House lawn.
“I think it’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Hutchins. “The zombie theme really appeals to the late teens and early 20s, a group that doesn’t have quite as much to do at the pumpkin festival as families. It’s going to be fun to watch.”
But before the zombies rise, the day will be full of activities. New at Emerson Park this year is a performance tent where everything from dance to karate to theater will be on display throughout the day.
“The Granite State Zoo is going to be there with animals,” said Hutchins, “and we’ll have people ‘hooping,’ which is Zumba with hula hoops.”
The annual pumpkin weigh-off will be held on the oval at 10 a.m.. There will be a pumpkin catapult at TD Bank, an arts and crafts show at Town Hall, and music and stories on the Oval and at Emerson Park.
At the Elm Street Cemetery at 2 p.m., historian David Palance will give folks a tour of the burial grounds, revealing secrets about the people buried there.
In the evening, the pumpkin lighting will take place on the Oval at 5:30 p.m., and the annual talent show will be held at the Amato Center for the Performing Arts at 8 p.m.
Sunday also has many activities in store, including the annual fireman’s breakfast at the fire station, the Milford High School 5K Road Race, and performances and demonstrations throughout the day.
For more information, including a full schedule of events, visit www.milfordimprovementteam.org.