Arbuckle celebrates pumpkin festival ahead of depot improvements

Oct. 4—The community of Arbuckle gathered at LaVanche Hursh Park in Arbuckle on Saturday as the Arbuckle Revitalization Committee hosted the 11th annual Arbuckle Pumpkin Festival.

This year's festival brought back all of the event staples, including a vendor fair featuring 20 vendors, a food truck, games, face painting and of course, lots and lots of pumpkins.

Diana Lytal, president of the Arbuckle Revitalization Committee, said all of the pumpkins included at this year's festival were Colusa County grown, coming from two local suppliers — Martin Fun Farms in Colusa and Karlonas Patch in Williams.

New this year, the young Stonyford duo The Fiddlin' Brothers provided live entertainment during the festival, and even brought extra instruments for children in the audience to participate in the live show.

The two young brothers, Ari and Aven Nercessian, ages 12 and 10, have been making quite a name for themselves touring California and playing violin at local fairs and festivals.

The Arbuckle Revitalization Committee hosts several community events throughout the year, including the pumpkin festival, to raise funds to carry out a large community project the committee has been working on for more than a decade.

Since forming in 2011, the primary goal of the committee has been to restore the 146-year-old train depot that sits just across the street from LaVanche Hursh Park. The committee has done much of the groundwork to get the depot project up and running but the costly repairs needed, which include moving the entire structure to a new foundation 35 feet away from its current location, have made the process move slowly.

According to Lytal, the committee has accepted bids on the dismantling of the depot and the laying of the foundation.

Lytal said the dismantling process will begin very soon and the committee hopes to have that phase completed by the end of the month. Weather permitting, Lytal said the committee hopes that the new foundation will be completed by the end of this year.

The committee will continue to host its annual community events to fund the depot project step by step, said Lytal, but it is also looking into grant funding options.

Lytal said once restorations are completed on the depot, the committee plans to use the space as a community meeting place and museum. In fact, while preparing the structure to be dismantled, Lytal said committee members found several historical artifacts, including a women's lace up shoe from the 1920s, old fashion nails, railroad ties, an oil can and more. Community members have also donated historical artifacts, according to Lytal, including a journal from the Arbuckle movie theater.

Lytal said the committee has also been working with a historian that has been able to place some well known train hoppers through hobo hieroglyphics etched in the walls of the depot. The portions of the walls with these etchings will also be put on display, said Lytal.

The committee will continue the fall festivities later this month, as it gears up to host the annual Arbuckle Arbuckle Car Show and Depot Birthday celebration on Oct. 30.

The event will kick off at 1 a.m. with a Halloween Parade, coordinated by the Arbuckle Parks and Recreation Department, followed by a car show with a barbecue lunch provided by The Buckhorn.