After COVID hiatus, Pickle Festival to return Saturday

  • Henry A.L. Parkhurst – a.k.a. “Mr. Pickle” – was available for photos with visitors to Winchester’s Pickle Festival in 2018, including Arya McAlpine, then nine months old. Keene Sentinel file

  • Karen Wrobel of Hinsdale grabs a few pickle spears, which were handed out for free at the 2019 Winchester Pickle Festival. —Keene Sentinel file

Keene Sentinel
Published: 9/21/2021 5:27:44 PM

Pickles will once again return to Winchester’s downtown Saturday, after the annual pickle festival was canceled for the first time last year due to COVID-19.

This year’s festival will feature pickles and a pop-up vaccination clinic, but not its typical parade through downtown because of the pandemic.

“In past years, it’s just rows and rows of people really bunched together, so we didn’t want to give one more reason for people to be standing shoulder to shoulder,” said Kevin Bazan, festival committee president.

Instead, the 23rd event – which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – will start with a grand entrance on Main Street from “Mr. Pickle,” better known as Winchester resident Henry A.L. Parkhurst.

Pictures with Mr. Pickle start at noon at the gazebo, which Parkhurst said he’s most looking forward to.

“I enjoy sitting in the gazebo so people can get a picture with Mr. Pickle,” he said. “Henry Parkhurst is not there; it’s only Mr. Pickle.”

Other activities include a wood-carving demonstration, a bounce house for kids and live music throughout the day, in addition to shopping with local vendors, according to the festival’s website.

The festival will also have a pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic – run by the Greater Monadnock Public Health Network, which has overseen the region’s inoculation efforts – for those needing first or second doses.

The clinic will be behind the ambulance building from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., according to the website.

And of course, there will be an abundance of pickles to eat.

Patriot Pickle of New Jersey will offer free pickles at the corner of Main and Route 119 until supplies last, the website says.

Bazan added that people are encouraged to park in the Winchester School parking lot and walk downtown. A shuttle will also be running from the lot to take people to the event. Handicapped parking is available at the town hall.

Parker Street will be closed from Main Street to Union Street during the event, according to the website. Access to Parker Street will be off Union Avenue.

More information on the festival can be found at

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