Pumpkins

Connie and Arlyn Weienpth, and Heidi Fram show some of the many pumpkins for sale at Main Street Congregational Church in Amesbury.

AMESBURY — Autumn is a great time to be in the city and Main Street Congregational Church will celebrate the season Saturday with its Fall Festival and Craft Fair.

The church would normally take part in the annual Village of Church Fairs but the COVID-19 pandemic has led to that event being canceled once again.

The Rev. Joan MacPherson said she and her congregation still wanted to enjoy the season while helping others, so the Fall Festival and Craft Fair will be held on the church’s front lawn Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“We have got the perfect place,” MacPherson said. “Everyone gets to connect and we just want people to come out and have fun.”

Heidi Fram, a member of the church’s fellowship committee, is coordinating the festival. Fram co-chaired the Byfield Music & Arts Festival for five years and said it was natural for her to reach out to local vendors to see if they wanted to take part in the fair.

“I wanted to get some craftspeople in here,” she said. “I know a lot of the craftspeople around here and I wanted to give them a chance to sell their wares.”

The church had already signed up 25 craft vendors from Amesbury and surrounding communities by the end of last week, Fram said.

Vendors will offer everything from self-published books to wooden wares, canvas bags, knitted and crochet items, pottery, ceramics, clothing, jewelry, home décor, paintings, macramé and glitter tattoos.

“We’re very excited about the variety of goods that are going to be coming in,” Fram said. “Everything is going to be made by the vendors. So that is a very good thing.”

The church is in the middle of its annual pumpkin sale, which sees thousands of the organic orange globes taking up most of the front lawn.

The pumpkins arrived Sept. 26 and are usually gone before October ends.

“Last year, we came a day short of getting through October,” Fram said. “We also did better last year than we have done in previous years. I think because it was an outdoor activity and everyone just wanted to be outdoors.”

MacPherson said the pumpkins come from South Carolina-based Pumpkin Patch Fundraisers, which grows pumpkins on a Navajo Indian reservation in Farmington, New Mexico, and helps churches across the country raise money for their ministries.

“They believe what we do matters in the world,” MacPherson said. “They also believe in providing jobs and opportunities where the pumpkins grow and the whole business is on the honor system. They ship it to us, we get an 18-wheeler, unload it, then we don’t pay anything until we report what we sell and share it with them.”

The church sells the pumpkins for $4 to $30.

Fram said knowing the motivation behind Pumpkin Patch Fundraisers seems to bring people out year after year.

“People wait for these pumpkins, which are a lot more expensive than those that you can buy at the grocery store,” she said.

Pumpkins love to grow in warm weather but do not last long in the heat, Fram said.

“We have to move them around a lot,” she said. “They sweat on the bottom and then they get squishy. So, we moved them around and the ones that get squishy, we give to a pig farmer who feeds them to his pigs.”

The Amesbury Council on Aging will also host a craft fair Saturday and Market Street Baptist Church will put on a flea market that day as well, MacPherson said.

Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at jsullivan@newburyportnews.com or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.

Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at jsullivan@newburyportnews.com or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.

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