The annual festivities celebrating that round, orange gourd are once again beginning preparations, which include buying more than 600 of the robust squashes.

The Seventh Annual FishHawk Ranch Pumpkin Festival will take place on Saturday, October 20, in its new location next to Mosaic. The two charities benefitting from the event will be Feeding America Tampa Bay and the Y.

According to Lynda McMorrow, marketing manager for Newland Communities, last year, more than $52,000 was raised for these two charities, each receiving more than $26,000. There was also food collected for Feeding America and there will be a drop off tent again this year.

Recently, during the Concerts for a Cause held over the summer, residents were able to raise $700 and collected more than 1,600 lbs. of food for Feeding America. These donations are equivalent to nearly 2.25 tons of food and total more than 3,600 meals.

The schedule of events for the day of the festival includes pumpkin carving beginning as early as 9 a.m. and games starting at 2 p.m. At 3 p.m., there will be a costume parade and awards will be given for cutest, scariest and most original costumes.

Come hungry as there will be plenty of food vendors to choose from, including Formaggio’s, Chill Billy’s Italian Ice and many more to enjoy.

Between 3-5 p.m., children are invited to take a stroll down Treat Street and at 4 p.m., the annual pie eating contest will be held. And what flavor will competitors be consuming? “Apple,” said McMorrow. “We took a poll on our Facebook page and apple was the winning flavor picked from pumpkin, chocolate, key lime and apple.”

A free concert featuring Anchor Atlantic will take place from 5-8 p.m. and during the band’s break at 6 p.m., a special challenge will take place on the stage. The Minute to Win Event, based on the television show, invites residents to try their hand at challenges using household objects in 60 seconds or less.

There is a $20 fee to enter either the pie eating contest or Minute to Win it; anyone interested in signing up should contact

Ending out the day will be the lighting of the pumpkins at 8 p.m.

Food, drink and game tickets are cash only. Volunteer opportunities are available as well. Please visit for volunteer and sponsorship opportunities and updates as the event approaches.

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Jennifer is the Assistant Editor at the Osprey Observer, having climbed the corporate ladder from intern in 2007. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications. She lives in Channing Park with her husband, Eric, and their two dogs.