Winchester Pickle Festival keeps on getting better each year

Sunday News Correspondent
September 24. 2017 12:37AM
Mr. Pickle, better known as state Rep. Henry Parkhurst, a Winchester resident, greets the crowd with his green bowler hat and green suit during the 20th annual Winchester Pickle Festival Parade on Saturday. (Meghan Pierce/Sunday New Correspondent Photos)

WINCHESTER - Thousands of people filled downtown Winchester Saturday to celebrate the 20th annual Winchester Pickle Festival.

Other than the addition of a car show, the festival was pretty much the same as in recent years, said Kevin Bazan of Winchester, one of many organizers who pulled off the event Saturday.

"We just wanted to make sure that it happened this year, and we might be expanding it next year," Bazan said. "It's about community first and it's definitely around pickles. We encourage each vendor to have something pickle related."

Vendors were being judged on that specifically, he said, and the winner would receive a free vendor table at next year's festival.

The festival typically attracts between 5,000 and 7,000 attendees throughout the the day. Included were a parade in the morning, vendors throughout the downtown, a car show and live music.

Kayla Cooke, 15, of Keene and Hannah Gallagher, 13, of Keene, enjoy free pickles at the Winchester Pickle Festival Saturday. (Meghan Pierce/Sunday News Correspondent)

Wearing his green bowler hat and a green suit, Mr. Pickle - state representative and Winchester resident Henry Parkhurst - was also available at the gazebo at noon for photo opportunities. 

Former Selectman Gary O'Neal proposed the pickle festival originally. The festival is now organized by Winchester Pride and more than 100 town volunteers. But O'Neal is regarded as the father of the festival.

Along with the free pickles, there were farm fresh pickles on a stick and fried pickles.

During the festival, Winchester Kiwanis Club members were charged with giving away 25 five-gallon buckets of pickles. The town bought the buckets of pickles from their usual and trusted supplier Patriot Pickles of Massachusetts, Bazan said. 

"We got whole ones and we got spears and we've got chips," said Winchester Kiwanis Club President Gus Ruth.

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