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Barrel train rides are part of Lake Park's annual Pumpkin Fest celebration. Submitted Photo

Pumpkin Fest fun chugs into Lake Park

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entertainment Detroit Lakes,Minnesota 56501 http://www.dl-online.com/sites/default/files/styles/square_300/public/fieldimages/5/0305/9-23-lp-pumpkinfest.jpg?itok=fv7wDLjw
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Pumpkin Fest fun chugs into Lake Park
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Lake Park-Audubon will soon be packed full of smiling faces -- not just people, but pumpkins.

The 2012 Pumpkin Fest and All School Reunion is just around the corner, as community leaders prepare for the celebrations, beginning Friday, Sept. 28, and running through Sept. 30.

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When all-school reunion coordinators were told the new high school wouldn't quite be ready by their original summertime goal, they decided to throw a sort of two-for-one event, as they were already having meetings for the popular Pumpkin Fest anyway.

Diane Midthune is one of about 15 volunteers working feverishly to throw this double-header on, which might be designed with Lake Park-Audubon natives and residents in mind, but is open to everybody.

"It's a community celebration to just get together, have a good time and celebrate living in small town America," said Midthune.

The annual Pumpkin Fest is known for its long list of family-friendly activities, but with the reunion included, that list has grown to an impressive 45 events sprinkled throughout the weekend.

"We do expect more people than normal, but we're not sure how many more," said Midthune.

Kicking off the weekend is a Buddy Holly Tribute Show Friday night at the new LP-A High School theatre at 8 p.m.

Tickets for the show are available for $10 at Thrifty White in Lake Park and at the door (if it's not sold out).

Fireworks at the old and new football fields follow the show.

The next morning, festival-goers can get fueled up for an eventful Saturday at the Harvest Breakfast, located at the American Legion.

The morning includes a kids' fun-run and 5K, crafts and vendors, a kids' petal tractor pull and big tractor display, as well as a classic car show.

"Located just on the east side of town is a corn maze, which will be a new activity for the fest, thanks to REA Hybrid Seeds," said event coordinator, Melanie Hanson. "The fest will be a family friendly event with lots of children's activities, including story time, craft projects, games, barrel train rides and more."

The Kiddie Parade comes marching through town at 2:15 p.m., with the main parade beginning at 2:30 p.m.

The afternoon is also jam-packed with other events, like horse and tractor-drawn wagon rides, a pumpkin pie eating contest, a pie and ice cream social, an all-school reunion golf scramble and more.

For party-goers working up an appetite, the Lake Park American Legion will host a Fish and Steak Fry from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Once bellies are once again full, it's time to dance it right back off at the Lake Park Firemen's Street Dance, with rug-cutting beginning at 8 p.m. and going until midnight.

The next morning, a Sunday morning worship service will be held at the new high school's theater, followed by a potluck and a "One Last Look" program.

"The program will include a dedication of the new high school and reflect on lots of memories that took place in the old high school building, during its many years of being a place for learning within our community," said Hanson.

For a look at the full schedule of events, check out the city's website at www.lakeparkmn.com or find Lake Park Pumpkin Fest on Facebook.

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