Pumpkin festival on Sunday was the place to be

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GLEN RIDGE, NJ — The third annual Freeman Gardens Pumpkin Festival was held on Sunday, Sept. 25. The event began in 2014 and was called a hootenanny.

It was held to raise funds for the removal of a dead oak. The tree was estimated to be more than 200 years old, according to Kevin Sherry, the president of the Freeman Gardens board. The event was called a hootenanny last year too, but this year it seems to have settled down as a pumpkin festival, although the Foggy Minded Boys, from Montclair, were again on hand as they have been since the first festival.

Sherry said this year’s festival was to raise funds and awareness. He said the funds were needed to replace some pines that are aging out, as are a lot of other trees.

During the last year, two dogwoods, a bald cypress and a meta sequoia have been planted, he said. Still in progress and waiting for time and money is a proposed slate foundation for a bench in the peonie garden. This area is to the left of the barn-like “chicken coop” one sees directly in front them when entering the garden.The repair of the park sign at the corner of Maolis and Hawthorne avenues is also in the works. Sherry said he has many projects going on at the same time.

“That’s the gist of it,” he said.
Three hundred and fifty pumpkins were on sale, as were hot dogs. There was a raffle for various services or prizes provided by local businesses. The Boiling Springs Bank gave half the money to purchase the pumpkins. The cider and the sunshine were free.