2nd annual Pumpkin Social kicks off downtown on Saturday

Published 11:12 am Thursday, October 13, 2016


Pumpkin time is upon us.

It’s their time to shine — to sport their gap-toothed grins from front porches, windows sills and even street corners.

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As a kick off to fall, the downtown merchants are hosting a pumpkin-themed festivity of their own.

This Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the second annual Pumpkin Social will kick off downtown’s fall season, said event coordinator Regina Gailani of Art and Soul of the South.

“We started it last year and were really pleased with the response,” she said. “It’s just a really great welcome fall event.”

The social will feature a majority of the stores along Washington Street and offer pumpkin-themed “munchies or desserts” with a selection of fall items for sale, with store-themed pumpkins serving as greeters.

“It’s kind of a customer appreciations event,” Gailani said.

“There’s a lot of merchants that have new gifts in, inventory in from market, so this is really where you see a surge of new items in the stores. The timing works out, but it’s most of all about telling the customers (thank you).”

In addition to getting to taste the treats, those who participate in the social can pick up a bound copy of each store’s recipes at Art and Soul, she added.

“I was surprised how many asked for those,” she said. “Even the merchants wanted to know everybody’s recipes. A lot of folks called about it asked me if I had more recipe books. That told me it was well received.

“You’ve got a real variety of (recipes) from three-ingredient muffins to some a little more elaborate to show off for guests,” she said, noting Sassafras’ pumpkin pie crunch cake was a crowd favorite.

Each person who participated last year received its recipe:

Pumpkin pie crunch cake

Beat together

• 1 – 15 oz can pumpkin

• 1 – 12 oz can evaporated milk

• 1 1/2 c sugar

• 2 t pumpkin pie spice

• 1 t salt

• 4 eggs

• Put in 9 x 13 inch dish.  Sprinkle one yellow cake mix (dry) and one cup chopped pecans over top. Cut two sticks of butter in small pats and place over the top.  Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for for 50 to 60 minutes.

Hundreds attended last year’s event, Gailani estimated, and the goal for this year’s event is to add to those numbers.

“We’re very optimistic to do it again,” she said. “It’s just to remind folks that we’re coming up with the holidays; we’ve got stuff going on. (In) October, November and December, there is a heavy schedule of downtown events, so this is kind of kicking it off.”

Gailani said though last year’s event had each store distributing their own recipe cards to be bound when they were finished, this year’s event features pre-bound books with this year’s new recipes.

“They come come by Art and Soul when they’ve had all their fill of munchies or on their route, whatever works for them, and pick up a bound set of recipes,” she said. “That way if they want to write by merchant (recipes), ‘Very good. Must do this,’ they can. I don’t know about you but my recipe book is covered with notes. It would be awesome if someone could come down and pick up something they might use at their own Thanksgiving meal.”