Before you go this weekend: 7 hints for Hitscherhof pumpkin fest

Before you go this weekend: 7 hints for Hitscherhof pumpkin fest

by Genevieve Northup
Stripes Europe

Located just 30 minutes from Ramstein Air Base, the Hitscherhof Bed & Breakfast and Farmers Outlet hosts an annual two-day pumpkin and corn festival Sept. 21-22 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Though smaller than some of the other harvest fests, you won’t want to miss the culinary specials and 70 vendors at Hitscherhof this weekend. Here are a few ways to make your day more enjoyable.

1. Carpool with friends. 
The logistics of carpooling can be annoying, but you’re better off meeting up and heading over with friends. The makeshift parking lot gets crowded and costs 3 euros per car.

2. Go for lunch.
The fest takes place in a compact area that gets quite crowded by mid-afternoon. Show up early to eat before long lines form, and make sure you’re hungry. 

3. Bring enough euros, plus extra.
The fest is in a rural area, miles from the nearest ATM. Consider parking, food and shopping expenses when withdrawing cash.

4. Try the pumpkin soup.
It is some of the best you’ll ever have, according to fellow foodies the KMC. I’ve had a lot of pumpkin soup in Europe and agree that Hitscherhof’s is hard to top. Other dishes featuring pumpkin, pumpkin seeds and corn are also served all weekend, as well as bratwursts, potatoes and Flammkuchen.

5. Stock up on pumpkin-flavored foods and handcrafted merchandise.
Once you eat, it’s time to shop! The pumpkin wine and secco (sparkling wine) have a subtle pumpkin flavor and are reasonably priced. I buy the pumpkin seed oil here every year to drizzle on top of roasted pumpkin, sautéed root vegetables and creamy winter soups. Local artisans showcase unique wreaths, centerpieces, jewelry, teddy bears, scarves, purses and artwork — start your holiday shopping, pick up autumn décor for your European home, or find inspiration for a DIY project.

6. Dress the kids in cute attire.
There is a small garden with flowers and pumpkins, a perfect backdrop for fall portraits of the kids. Let them loose in the corn maze after the photos have been taken.

7. Buy pumpkins for the next few weeks.
A variety of edible and ornamental pumpkins are available for purchase. Stock up on your household’s favorite choice for mealtime; I prefer hokkaidos because they have a rich flavor and don’t have to be peeled. Don’t forget few for Halloween!

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