Gourd aficionados, take note – the Pennsylvania Gourd Society (PAGS) is visiting the Lebanon Valley to hold an annual celebration of all things gourd at the 2023 Pennsylvania Gourd Festival.

The festival will be hosted at the Lebanon Valley Expo Center and Fairgrounds at the intersection of Rocherty and Cornwall roads. Festivities will begin on Thursday, June 15, and continue through to Saturday, June 17. Each day will begin at 8 a.m. and conclude at 5 p.m.

On Friday, June 16, a catered dinner will be hosted followed by a “creative activity” so that attendees may connect with friends and fellow gourd enthusiasts. Concessions will be available throughout the festival.

PAGS is a membership-based organization dedicated to “promoting the use of gourds in Pennsylvania, growing different varieties and using them in artistic and functional craft by providing a supportive and educational environment for our members and the community,” according to their website. The organization previously hosted their 2022 Gourd Fest at the Lebanon Expo Center.

The Lebanon Valley Expo Center, with the main hall to the left. (Lebanon Valley Expo Center)

Classes instructed by gourd artists are planned for all three days of the festival and will be held inside the main hall of the Expo Center. The space will be shared with the participants of the American Gourd Society’s growing and crafting competition, which will be sponsored by PAGS.

Additionally, there will be vendors selling gourd-related supplies and tools, Pennsylvania Amish gourd farmers, and a raffle. Trash-to-Treasure donation tables will be set up to take unwanted gourd craft supplies and hold them for other crafters.

The lineup of classes and instructors is still being planned. As the festival approaches, participants may sign up for classes on the PAGS website. Potential instructors are welcome to apply prior to Feb. 28 for the opportunity to teach a class.

Competitors in the growing and craft contests should also apply using forms on the PAGS website. In addition to the main classes, small “Make and Take” workshops set up for walk-in traffic will be available.

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Editor’s note: This article was updated after publication to use a photo more illustrative of what you can expect to see at the PA Gourd Festival.

Joshua Groh

Josh Groh is a Cornwall native and writer who began reporting for LebTown in 2019. He continued to regularly contribute to LebTown while earning a degree in environmental science at Lebanon Valley College, graduating in 2021. Since then, he has lead conservation crews in Colorado and taken on additional...

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