A new fall festival – Pumpkin Palooza – will be presented by the Reading Downtown Improvement District in tandem with our annual Scarecrow Contest in downtown Reading.

Pumpkin Palooza will roll out on Saturday, October 22 between 1 and 7 p.m. in the 500 block of Penn Street. The fest will include a variety of family-fun activities such as live music and entertainment; food trucks; a pumpkin pie eating contest; scarecrow making; pumpkin carving; mummy wrapping; a pumpkin seed spitting contest; and horse-drawn wagon rides.

Pumpkin Palooza will include an extended Penn Street Market season, where you can find autumn seasonal produce and goods from local vendors.

The festival will be tied to the Improvement District’s annual Scarecrow Contest. The contest is intended to engage businesses, organizations, clubs, families, schools and churches in a festive, colorful autumn event downtown. Entrants are encouraged to create whimsical, humorous, mischievous or lovable scarecrows, which will be put up for display the week of October 17.

To participate in this free contest, participants must register by October 10. You can find the contest application form here.

Please pay particular attention to specific information about the contest, which is available here.

We also have sponsorship available! If you’d like to support this annual event, please use this sponsorship form.

If you have questions or need additional information, please call the DID office at 610-376-6424.

The scarecrows will be judged the week of October 17 and first, second, and third place ribbons will be awarded.

Pumpkin Palooza is a production of Reading Downtown Improvement District in cooperation with Penn Street Market. Funding for this event is provided by Berks County Community Foundation.