Halloween’s Big Highlight: Pumpkin Fest 2018

The peppers used in the pepper eating contest are 100 times hotter than jalapenos.

Pumpkin Fest is an annual, all-day, fun-packed event for a good cause. This year’s event takes place Saturday October 13th, from 10-5, at Lester’s Farm

Throughout the day, the activities vary and include games and contests like pie eating & hot pepper eating & worm digging contests. There’s prizes to be won, pumpkin catapults, and dark mazes. Click here for more details and a schedule.

“For our pie eating contests we use cream pies with cookies and cream, chocolate, and coconut cream flavor,” says Susan Lester. “We don’t let the contests use their hands so it’s a fun mess to watch! We have prizes for the first person finished, and the messiest eater.”

We have prizes for the first person finished, and the messiest eater.

Susan says the pumpkin catapult was her father (John’s) creation. “Throughout the day, he will fire off a few pumpkins towards a target in the field. Never seen a flying pumpkin before? This is your chance!”

As for the Dark Maze, it’s a completely blacked out maze in one of their greenhouses.

The Hot Pepper Contest is the Hottest Contest Every Year

Susan says the hot pepper contest is a big highlight of the day.

“We use habanero peppers, they are extremely hot! They range from 100,000-350,000 on the scoville scale. In other words, they are about 100 times hotter than a jalapeno.”

Last year, they started out with about 20 contestants. “After the first pepper, we dropped about 7 people,” Susan says. “Basically, all you have to do to win is out-eat the people next to you, without taking a drink between.”

2017’s winner ate 14 peppers! That’s impressive, daring, but not the record.

“A few years back, we had a man who ate 42 peppers, he was the reigning champion for 3 years in a row, but we’re seeing some new faces with brave taste buds come each year.”

The pepper eating contest will happened at 1:15. Susan promises great prizes for the top 5 contestants.

It’s All Good Fun for a Good Cause

Pumpkin Fest has raised over $200,000 for charity over the years.

“Over the past number of years, we have paired up with the R.E.A.L Program and Mount Pearl Sport Alliance. We think that these two programs do amazing things for children and their families,” Susan says.

“Both programs help families get involved in extra curricular activities. They promote an active lifestyle, while also allowing possibilities for children who may not otherwise have the opportunity to join sports groups, singing lessons, acting lessons, basically any activity, they can help families out.”

In addition to raising money for charity, Susan says Lester’s is motivated to run Pumpkin Fest every year because “we have just as much fun getting ready for it and seeing people enjoy our farm. All of us Lester’s (Mary, John, Chris, Brad and Susan), as well as all of our amazing staff, truly are big kids at heart. It’s also very heart warming to see the community come together each year in support of these two programs.”

A Park and Ride service has been arranged to contend with parking issues. There will be parking available on-site (173 Brookfield Road), but it’s recommended folks use the free Park N’ Ride provided by Metrobus. Metrobus will be shuttling people from the NL Housing building at the corner of Columbus and Canada Drive to Pumpkinfest, frequently, between 10 and 4.

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2 Comments

  • It would be nice if there were different activities throughout october for several charities. I dont even see apple bobbing or haunted houses,corn maze,pumpkin carving, so many activities that could be done . Maybe a good old barn dance ( maybe not in a barn but somewhere rented )and decorated for an adult dance with local bands

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