As mentioned earlier in the week, one of the many festivals happening over this forthcoming bank holiday weekend is the annual Virginia Pumpkin Festival in County Cavan.
With over 20,000 expected in Virginia, the festival promises a pack programme of events including; a boxing exhibition with Olympic Medal Boxer John Joe Nevin, Street entertainment, monster festival parade and fireworks, artisan food fair, haunted forest walk, fancy dress ball, monster bingo, children’s party and music from the Hothouse Flowers, who play the Pumpkin Dome on Saturday night.
There is also the very popular Giant Pumpkin Weigh in, which keeping its rightful place at the heart of the festival will take place on Sunday afternoon. With entrants travelling from Germany, Italy, Belgium, UK, Austria and from all over Ireland to Virginia to win the title for the heaviest pumpkin. The competition is expected to be another highly contented affair and many of those competiting choose to coincide their Ireland Vacations with the festival competition, which run by the European Giant Vegetable Association, will see the competing pumpkins carefully weighed and measured before the winners declared.
A popular squash this time of year and most commonly used to create Jack O’Lantern’s for Halloween, the Virginia Pumpkin Festival is one of very few festivals in Ireland to celebrate the humble pumpkin, albeit a short lived one! As although those pumpkins taking place in the Giant Pumpkin Competition will appear in Sunday’s parade, they unfortunately won’t make it back to their homeland, although their owners will extract their precious seeds and take them home!
So what will become of the wonderful pulp…we’ve some ideas, how about spiced pumpkin soup, pumpkin risotto, the American favourite pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin gingerbread or maybe in a pumpkin influenced cocktail such as a pumpkin martini!