Pumpkinferno a smashing success

By Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Pumpkinferno a smashing success
Photograph of a display from Upper Canada Village's Pumpkinferno event. The Leader/Phillip Blancher photo

MORRISBURG, Ontario – One of the region’s largest events returned to near pre-pandemic attendance this fall. More than 43,000 visitors physically-distanced their way through the gates of Pumpkinferno at Upper Canada Village this year.

The event, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2021, opened its doors September 24 and ran until October 31.

Attendance peaked in 2017 when nearly 75,000 visitors attended the event.

Physical distancing and other COVID-19-related measures were put in place in 2020 including staggered entry and contactless ticket sales online.

According to the St. Lawrence Parks Commission, visitors going to Pumpkinferno represented over $6.6 million in spending in the region. That number was calculated using a data model developed by the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism, and Culture Industries. It calculates the overall impact of a tourist attraction on surrounding businesses like hotels, restaurants, and other venues in the area.

SLPC chair the Honourable Bob Runciman said that the mission of the agency is to generate visitor growth and economic prosperity.

“Despite the pandemic we were able to deliver on that and support communities across Eastern Ontario,” he said. “Equally important, we provided people and families in the region and beyond a unique opportunity to get out and have some fun together.”

The SLPC said that Pumpkinferno at UCV was sold out, as was the agency’s new Pumpkinferno attraction at Fort Henry in Kingston. More than 35,000 visitors attended the inaugural Fort Henry attraction this year, which had an estimated $3.4 million in economic impact. Preparations are now underway at UCV for this year’s edition of Alight At Night. Details on opening dates have not been announced yet.

This article was originally written for and published in The Morrisburg Leader.

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