Pumpkin Festival

Red flowers, orange gourds, fountains

Ludwigsburg Palace grounds

In the fall, there is an annual pumpkin festival on the grounds of the Ludwigsburg palace.  Not sure what to expect, we visited it on a warm, sunny October day.  The castle grounds are picturesque with vast gardens in front of the palace itself.  There is a central garden leading the visitor from the palace grounds entrance at the street straight to the palace, and this garden has fountains every few feet. It draws one in, beckoning the visitor to venture further towards the palace.  Since it was the Pumpkin Fest, colorful gourds were placed in the gardens.

We wandered around the palace grounds and happened along an area specifically built to entertain children.  At various points along the path winding through the forest would be a life-sized structure as part of a traditional story German children would know: The Red Shoes, Rumpelstiltskin, Rapunzel, etc. If a button located somewhere on the structure was pressed, the story would be told, often with some part of the display moving. There were two over-sized frogs in a pond with stepping-stones so one could cross the pond rather than walk around it. However, once the first stone felt some weight, the frogs would begin spitting water at each other and the person crossing the stepping-stones would get wet in the crossfire!

The forest gave way to a wide meadow at the back of the palace where the Pumpkin Fest was located. There were gourds of all colors, shapes and sizes set up in a variety of displays. The theme of this year’s Pumpkin Fest was “Royalty” so among other things, there was a throne, a chess board with chess pieces, a lion, and even Elvis – all using pumpkins and gourds!  There were gourds that, along with their vines, were shaped like people with arms and legs!  Since it was a fest, there were various food stands offering the usual fare – bratwurst & fries – as well as all sorts of foodstuff made from pumpkin: soup, bread, various flavored seeds, and even beer! A delightful way to spend a warm, sunny, fall afternoon! 🙂


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