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WARREN DILLAWAY / Star Beacon PARADE FANS wait for the Huntsburg Pumpkin Festival parade to get started Sunday afternoon.

HUNTSBURG TOWNSHIP — If you looked closely enough you could almost see Norman Rockwell hiding behind a pumpkin, painting an American classic during the 40th annual Huntsburg Pumpkin Festival Sunday.

Elaine Nelisse has lived in Montville for most of her life and has special memories of the festival. Nelisse was helping her 22-month-old granddaughter, Holly Phillips, of Orwell enjoy the marching Geauga Highlanders.

She said she loves the festival because of the good people, the neighbors and the hospitality of Huntsburg Township. She said the area has a great community spirit.

Brian Kelly was sitting on a folding chair along the parade route holding his dog, Murfi.

“I grew up here so we’ve been here for all of them,” Kelly said. “It brings back a lot of memories,” he said.

Bob Barber has lived in Huntsburg Township for 27 years and has been announcer of the parade for about five years.

Barber is the pastor of the Huntsburg Congregational Church and announced the parade participants from the back of a pickup truck.

“I think it (the festival) means a lot. It means community involvement. Most what you have is schools, 4-H groups and church groups,” Barber said. He said the small-town community feel is special in Huntsburg Township.

“It’s a good family environment,” said resident Mike Wroblesky . He said the grand marshals of the parade were past board members who were honored for their service to the community.

He said the turnout for the weekend activities was good.

“It’s been nice that the rain held off,” he said.

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