Roland Village Pumpkin Fair in Southern Manitoba

Roland, a little village in south-central Manitoba, puts on a whopper of a pumpkin fair every fall. It's among my favorites.

The Roland Pumpkin Fair — and a huge pumpkin sculpture at the edge of town (above) — honor native Edgar Van Wyck, famous for growing gargantuan pumpkins, including a world-record giant. I'm just glad I don't have to carve the monsters that win the weigh-offs — the 2003 winner weighed an astonishing 1,009 pounds!

Besides the weigh-off, the fair features a pancake breakfast (8 a.m.), live music, craft and food booths and the Pumpkin Patch Tea Room, home of tasty pumpkin desserts.

I especially like the creatively decorated pumpkins children enter in a contest. Make sure you leave room for the full-course harvest supper, followed, of course, by more pumpkin desserts!

Roland is at the junction of Highways 23 and 428, about 60 miles southwest of Winnipeg. The fair is on the first Saturday in October (that's October 2 in 2004).

For more information, call the town office at 1-204/343-2061.

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