Official Tourism Website of Port Elgin, Ontario
FAMILY FUN - SECOND TO NONE!
WELCOME to Port Elgin Pumpkinfest! One of Ontario’s most unique events.
Featuring two GIANT Vegetable Weigh Offs, one of Ontario's LARGEST two day outdoor Car Shows, over 100 craft & marketplace vendors for all your Shopping needs and tons of FAMILY FUN Attractions, Port Elgin Pumpkinfest is THE place to be! Especially this year! We are moving back to our roots in the downtown core of Port Elgin!
It takes the entire COMMUNITY to run a festival of this size and Port Elgin Pumpkinfest is proud to partner with our Sponsors, local Non-Profit Groups, Volunteers, The Municipality of Saugeen Shores, and the Saugeen Shores Chamber of Commerce. It is because of all their hard work that Port Elgin Pumpkinfest was the recipient of the "Best Community Involvement Award" and the "Best Virtual Campaign Award" from Festivals and Events Ontario. WAY TO GO SAUGEEN SHORES!!
You don't want to miss this Award Winning, Record Breaking, One of a Kind, Top 100 Ontario Festival! Always the weekend before Thanksgiving! Hours listed are to reach Pumpkinfest staff at Pumpkinfest Headquarters, 559 Goderich Street Port Elgin ON.
Check it out on our website!
It is with great pleasure that I welcome you and your family to Port Elgin Pumpkinfest on behalf of the citizens of Saugeen Shores.
2013 marks the 27th anniversary of the festival which has become one of Ontario's top events, winning numerous awards. Garnering worldwide attention for its world record-setting giant vegetables and large antique car show, Port Elgin Pumpkinfest attracts crowds of up to 50,000 over the two days and generates a revenue of over $5 million in the area.
Congraulations to the organizing committee and especially to the volunteers whose tireless dedication makes this community event so successful. Your hard work and devotion is greatly appreciated. A special thank you goes out to the generous businesses who are involved in the festival in a sponsorship capacity.
To our visitors: we hope you will have a pleasant experience in Saugeen Shores. Please enjoy all that Port Elgin Pumpkinfest has to offer- from giant vegetables to fantastic family entertainment at Pumpkinfest Village and the vast Cinderella's Carriage Antique Car Show in downtown Port Elgin.
See you at Pumpkinfest!
Saugeen Shores Mayor
There really is something for everyone.
Check out our schedule of events
And if you have questions drop by our information booths in Pumpkinfest Village or downtown at the car show.
Pumpkinfest Village Map
When entering Port Elgin please follow the signs that will lead to our North, South, East & West Parking areas. There is also parking available in Southampton at the Town Hall on the corner of Hwy 21 & High Street.
There is NO parking available at Pumpkinfest Village.
There are NO dogs allowed on the Pumpkinfest Shuttle buses with the exception of Service Dogs.
Please Note: There is handicap parking available at the site.
Ffollow the signs to GROWERS parking and volunteers will direct you to a spot. Only vehicles with valid Handicap Parking stickers will be allowed to park in this area.
To take you from the parking areas to the fesitval, Port Elgin Pumpkinfest & First Student provide FREE shuttle buses. The buses will take you to either Pumpkinfest Village or the Cinderella's Carriage Antique & Classic Car Show.
SHUTTLE BUS TIMES
Every 15 mintues between:
Buses Pick Up at the Following Locations:
Please Note that some of these locations above do not offer all day parking. If you wish to park your car, please use one of our parking areas.
"The Motorcycle Show and Shine" is presented by the Grey-Bruce Motorcycle Touring Club which is a non-profit service group.
Our registration booth set up by the Royal Canadian Legion building on Bricker Street, Port Elgin.
You may enter the bike area from the corner of Green Street and Bricker Street. Street bikes and cruisers will be displayed on Bricker Street.
Registration fee of $5.00 will allow you to park your motorcycle in our show area on Bricker Street for both days. Your name will be entered in a draw for door prizes Saturday only. All types of motorcycles are welcome. We are not a bike specific club.
Pre-registration is not necessary.
Show time for bikes is between 10:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. on Saturday. Awards for the "Show" will be presented on Saturday at 2 p.m. Door prizes will be drawn after the awards.
Vehicle gates will be open at 8:30 a.m. both days.
For more info, contact Bill Ladd by phone 519-376-9848 or email at moc.oohay@16ddalw
Cinderella's Carriage Antique and Classic Car Show. The show will consist of mostly vehicles 25 years and older. One of Ontario's largest two day car show's.
The Car Show is located in lovely Downtown Port Elgin on Goderich Street!
Pumpkinfest reserves the right to refuse entrance to the show. For questions on your eligibility, please contact Pumpkinfest Headquarters at 1-800-387-3456
You are required to register your vehicle.
Sorry; no preferred, reserved, club, or specific parking. Vehicles are parked in the order that they enter the registration area. Pumpkinfest reserves the right to refuse vehicle entrance to the show.
There are actually two separate car shows over the two days. You may enter either day, or both days at no additional cost. Trophies and many door prizes are awarded each day.
Again this year, the trophies are made right here in Port Elgin at Mill Creek Chocolates from specially moulded chocolate with a two-tone brass plaque engraved with the name of the person and the vehicle winning the trophy.
Check out the personalized license plates unique to Port Elgin Pumpkinfest!
Port Elgin Pumpkinfest was created when an extensive town business plan study encouraged the Town of Port Elgin and the Business Improvement Area to create a "shoulder season" event or attraction to extend the tourist season to attract additional tourist dollars.
The first weigh off called "The Great Pumpkin Event" was held in 1986 with crowds of 200 and pumpkins weighing in at 250lbs. The festival was only one day and held at Coulters Parkette in downtown Port Elgin. The festival did not take place in 1987 as the Committee was in the process of becoming part of the World Pumpkin Confederation.
In 1988, the paper work was complete and the name "Port Elgin Pumpkinfest" was adopted. Throughout the 1980's Port Elgin Pumpkinfest moved from the Parkette to the Casino and then to the Port Elgin Arena. The festival grew in numbers from 200 to 6,000 and at the end of the decade remained the only official WPC Weigh Off site in Ontario.
The 1990's saw many changes for Port Elgin Pumpkinfest. In 1991 the Port Elgin & District Chamber of Commerce became the sponsoring body of the festival and moved it to the Port Elgin Curling Club.
1992 had the festival becoming a two day event hosting the WPC Weigh Off on Saturday and a local Weigh-Off on Sunday. The festival outgrew its new home after the 1993 festival and moved to the grounds of Saugeen District Secondary School in 1994.
That year saw crowds of 22,000 visitors and had more than 30 events and attractions held over the two days. The addition of the Cinderella's Carriage Antique and Classic car show happened in 1995 with 120 cars lining the downtown core. To help with the rising number of visitors, Port Elgin Pumpkinfest added shuttle buses to the festival in 1996 and celebrated its 10th Anniversary with attendance figures close to 40,000.
In 1997 Port Elgin Pumpkinfest left the WPC and became an Independent Weigh-off Site that offered a prize package of more than $33,000.00. 1998 and 1999 were award winning years for Port Elgin Pumpkinfest as attendance continued to grow. The festival received the People's Choice Award in 1998 and swept the Festival and Events Ontario Awards in 1999 in its budget category.
The New Millennium has brought changes and new things to Port Elgin Pumpkinfest's already established level of excellence. The International Weigh Off became part of the Giant Pumpkin Commonwealth in 2001 and continues to be a part of the organization.
The festival continues to maintain the visitor numbers (now approaching 60,000) and follows through on its promise to bring a new event each year. Elephant Rides in 2000; Elephant tug-o-war in 2001; Zoo to You and Mad Science in 2002; Military Obstacle Course and Harvest Star Serch in 2003; Helicopter Rides in 2004; Birds of Prey and The Toronto Maple Leafs Off Ice Hockey Tour in 2005; Giant Mural Area in 2006; Mascot Photo Booth in 2007; Petal's Entertainment Stage, Twin's Game Zone and Patches Pumpkin Patch in 2008; and Patches Drive In & Patches Recreation and Outdoor Adventure show in 2009.
Port Elgin Pumpkinfest continues to win Provincial awards each year and has been named one of Ontario's Top 100 Events.
These accomplishments and the years of wonderful history would not have been possible without all the volunteers, non-profit groups and hundreds of sponsors that make up the Port Elgin Pumpkinfest Family. As the festival prepares for its future the focus on attracting tourism in the shoulder season and staging an affordable community run festival remain the top objectives as they have been from the beginning.