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Damp forecast doesn't concern Pumpkin Festival patrons

Jo Hackman, left, shows Thomas Jackson and Kimberly Matthews a Turk's turban squash Thursday afternoon. Hackman and Matthews, both longtime Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival supporters, said they hope this weekend's rain doesn't cause any flooding at the festival. (Garrett Bergquist/KRCG 13)

Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival organizers and longtime patrons on Thursday said they didn't expect any serious trouble from flooding or rain.

Kimberly Matthews said she and her son, Thomas Jackson, have been coming to the pumpkin festival for years. She said it's gone on rain or shine for as long as she can remember.

"People bring their children, they bring their grandchildren, it's a great way for the community to come together," she said.

Data from the National Weather Service show mid-Missouri can expect rain throughout Friday, with a 60 percent chance again on Sunday. A flood warning remained in effect as of Thursday evening for the Missouri River stretching from Jefferson City to St. Charles. Jo Hackman, a produce farmer and former board member for the festival, said she was worried for a while about rain and possible flooding.

"It looks like the river's going to be okay," she said. "We just have to pray for the best with the rain, and sometimes it bypasses us."

Organizers said they weren't worried about flooding either. If any flooding does occur, they said the most likely impact would be on the one-way route designated for people leaving the festival, which skirts the Missouri River. If flooding becomes an issue, organizers said they will send traffic back out along Hartsburg Bottom Road and Old Highway 63.

Matthews said besides getting to pick out pumpkins from a pumpkin patch, she said she enjoys the craft booths, the food and the Sunday morning church service that happens during the festival.

"It's a spiritual experience, I think, that you experience here in Hartsburg," she said.

The pumpkin festival runs all day Saturday and Sunday.

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