Crisp fall weather and piles of red, gold and brown leaves were the whipped cream on top of another seasonal favorite this weekend in Longmont: pumpkin pie.
Saturday marked the 50th annual Pumpkin Pie Days Antique Show, where there was plenty of pie to be had. The two-day event continues Sunday, enticing fall lovers with 70 different antique vendors, a warm bowl of chili, pumpkin pie and whipped cream.
Pumpkin Pie Days, which is expected to draw roughly 3,000 people throughout the weekend, is hosted by the St. Vrain Historical Society and serves as a fundraiser for the nonprofit.
Event organizer Alyce Davis said it was through the hard work of volunteers and long-term support of the community that the event was able to achieve its 50-year milestone.
“It’s a really proud achievement to us at the historical society,” Davis said. “I always encourage people to show up. You never know what you are going to find. It’s kind of a new show year after year.”
For many attending the event, Pumpkin Pie Days was a chance to start a new tradition.
Megan Palmer , of Longmont, dug into some pie with her 3-year-old daughter Suzannah Feilden , who Palmer said she has affectionately called “Pumpkin Pie.”
“I’ve always loved Pumpkin Pie Days,” Palmer said. “When I was a kid, I came out to the event pretty much every year. My dad was a member of the St. Vrain Historical Society.”
Palmer said this year she saw a chance to share the tradition with Suzannah.
Besides the pie, Palmer said she loves browsing the antiques and that the festival brings people together. In addition to spending time with her parents, she said her family also ran into friends.
Vendors who participated Saturday brought an array of goods for people to peruse, from jewelry and antique furniture to home-baked goods. Among them was Longmont artist, Fran Gordon .
Gordon creates some steampunk-themed art. Among her creations displayed Saturday were handcrafted clocks made from up-cycled materials.
“I don’t know what I’m going to find, so I can never do the same thing twice,” Gordon said.
Gordon said this was her first time selling her art at the Pumpkin Pie Days and described it as a valuable opportunity to meet with potential customers and get her name into the community.
Husband and wife-duo Cathy and Skip Patience , of Longmont, have been volunteering at Pumpkin Pie Days for many years. Cathy Patience said she used to volunteer with her mother the late Ruth Shull . Later, she said she commissioned her husband to help out, too.
“You meet a lot of great people,” Skip Patience said.
Both said they liked the reward of doing something for city residents — and the ample pumpkin pie slices did not hurt either.
Before the historical society revived the festival in 1969, Pumpkin Pie Days got its start in Longmont in 1899. Back then, the pumpkin was considered one of Longmont’s most out of the ordinary crops. According to the historical society’s website, canned pumpkin was donated by Empson Cannery and Longmont women would whip up 5,000 pies for the festival. The event, which ran until 1914, got so popular that the rail car would add extra cars to ferry pumpkin-pie enthusiasts to Longmont.
On Sunday, a number of vendors will offer special deals. Davis encouraged people to visit the fairgrounds to take part in Pumpkin Pie Days.
“It’s a fun time,” she said. “You get to see a lot of cool stuff.”
If you go:
What: Pumpkin Pie Days Antique Show
When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday
Where: Boulder County Fairgrounds, 9595 Nelson Road
Cost: $5 admission