WESTVILLE | It's hard to imagine having a better day than Madeline Ginther, who was named queen Saturday at the 23rd annual Westville Pumpkin Festival.
The 12-year-old Westville girl later decorated a pumpkin as a cat.
"I was excited," Ginther said when asked how it felt to have the crown placed on her head.
Several thousand people strolled the grounds of Prairie Meadow Park perusing food vendors, carnival rides, live music and other attractions.
Mahsie Goff, 6, of Westville, had the image of a tiger painted on her face while Seth Stachniak, 6, of Michigan City, and Delmar Rainford, 13, of Westville, made it to the top of the rock climbing wall together.
"If you put your mind to it you can do it," said Rainford.
Other highlights of the festival Saturday included the parade on Main St. and U.S. 421 as well as a classic car show.
Lew Cass, a parade organizer, said the festival is just as popular as it was during its early beginnings linked to the Coulter family major local pumpkin growers.
"It brings a lot of people into the town and it's worked out very well," said Cass.
Julie Umphrey, 29, of Michigan City, was on hand with her husband and kids looking for some thrills.
"It's pretty good so far. The rides, the kids like it and we're ready to finish eating and ride some more rides," Umphrey said.
Leslie Frazier, 38, of Monon, attended with her sons Nathaniel, 3, and Jason, 5, who liked riding the kiddie train.
She said the best part of the festival was "just watching the kids enjoying themselves."
"It's nice," Frazier said.
The Pumpkin festival continues from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today.