Central Oregon

Bend Fall Festival draws thousands downtown

Festivities included pumpkin pie contest

Bend Fall Festival

BEND, Ore. - Thousands of people crowded downtown Bend Saturday for the second day of the 2012 Bend Fall Festival.

Now in its 12th year, the annual celebration of the harvest season closed down several streets.

The festival has two stages featuring free music, an artists promenade with more than 125 artists showcasing their work, and a family fun center.

But that's not all: There's also a Conscious Living Showcase and the C.E. Lovejoys Harvest Market.

That's where NewsChannel 21 met Donna Holm, owner of Holm Made Toffee Company.

This is the first year Holm has participated in the festival as a vendor.

"There is so much to see down here," Holm said. "I walked a little bit this morning, and you can spend the whole day wondering through downtown Bend and looking at all the vendors and everything that's on display. And, of course, come by my booth and get some samples of delicious hazelnut toffee."

Holm is a retired teacher and started her business five years ago.

While it's her first year at the festival, she has also participated in a couple of farmers markets in Bend.

The festival runs until Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

And nothing really smells like fall more than pumpkin pie.

Over at the C.E. Lovejoy's Harvest Market at the corner of Wall and Greenwood, there was "The Best Pumpkin Pie in Central Oregon Contest."

A dozen pies were judged by four expert judges, including our very own chief meteorologist, Bob Shaw, who is a pretty good cook himself.

The judges rated the pies in four categories: overall appearance, texture, taste and overall impression.

NewsChannel 21 asked the assistant manager of Savory Spice Shop that sponsored the contest: What goes into a good pumpkin pie?

"Well, at Savory Spice Shop, we think that a good pumpkin pie just has a great balance of flavor, nice fresh spices, nothing overbearing," said Samanthia Waltjen. "Just that right amount where you can taste each and every ingredient."

The first place winner got a $75 gift card to Savory Spice Shop and the second place finisher received a $25 gift card.

The pumpkin pie contest is one of two live fall-themed competitions at the festival.

On Sunday at 11 a.m. on the Peak 104.1 Mainstage : The Deschutes Brewery Homebrew Competition.

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