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story.lead_photo.caption India Garrish/For the Fulton SunBecky McCoy, of Harrisburg, holds her granddaughter, Camille Smith, 15 months, of Ashland, Saturday at the Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival. This was Camille’s first time at the Pumpkin Festival, and she was fascinated with the color of the pumpkins, McCoy said.

Strollers carried children as families entered Hartsburg on Saturday morning.

Many held treasures as the families exited.

Thousands of people flocked to the annual Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival. And some newcomers found they needed the strollers to carry massive pumpkins they bought to their waiting vehicles in parking areas.

Veterans of the event packed in their wagons, yard carts and tote bags to use as shopping carts for the produce, baked goods and newfound treasures that awaited them in the town.

The festival continues today, rain or shine.

People from across the state found just the right decorations, clothing or trinkets to fit their lifestyles. They went away with T-shirts, aprons, blankets, quilts, copper sculptures, wood or iron signs, cutting boards, furniture, glassware and 1,000 other items.

They could purchase fair food (kettle corn, cotton candy, blooming onions, and meat on sticks), breads (pumpkin, for sure) and fresh fruits and vegetables.

And, of course they could find pumpkins. Vendors had pumpkins stacked in yards. Adventurous visitors could pick their own right out of a field.

Activities included a corn maze, a hay maze (through stacked hay bales), a ring-the-bell carnival game and bounce houses.

Penny Bylina, of Columbia, and Becky Griffith, of Boonville, try to attend the pumpkin festival every year.

Despite arriving early in the morning, they spent some time in traffic, Bylina said.

"That line was crazy," Bylina said.

But, the festival is worth the wait, they said.

"We love it," Griffith said. "We find the most unique things. We got homemade soaps. We got fall decorations. We got homemade jams. And, we're supporting the locals and all their hard work."

They brought a wagon to hold pumpkins and mums they expected to buy.

"We just take our time, and go to breakfast, and come here, and make a day out of it," Griffith said. "Every year, I find something new for my front porch for my fall decorations. I love it."

Their budgets keep them from spending too much, she continued.

Crystal Homan, of Sedalia and Gladys McFarland, of Milan, shopped together Saturday morning. They also took a wagon to the festival, but it wasn't large enough for a wooden Kansas City Chiefs "welcome" sign they purchased. McFarland carried that treasure.

It will have a home alongside a Kansas City Chiefs gas pump, Homan said.

Their wagon contained kettle corn and stuffed animals (made out of Chiefs-themed material).

"We're about done. We've already made the rounds," Bylina said.

Dave Sterman, of Jefferson City, arrived at Hartsburg by bicycle. Sterman walked through town, pulling his bicycle trailer, and was headed back to his bike. The trailer held a massive pumpkin.

"For several years, I've always wanted to come to Hartsburg, because they have a really great fair here," Sterman said. "I thought, 'Wouldn't it be something if I had a little trailer I could just tow out here and get me a big ol' pumpkin.' Maybe next year, I'll get a bigger one."

Sterman said his granddaughter will come over to his home and they'll paint the pumpkin. A few days before Halloween, they'll carve it.

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