UCF hosted its inaugural community PumpkinFest last weekend at the university’s new Public History Center in Sanford.

Megan Kaczmarek, a graduate student dressed as France’s Napolean Bonaparte, instructed visitors at the center about the history of pumpkins, while other Halloween-costumed UCF students helped with crafts, games and activities at the family-friendly event.

The university this past summer leased the building to hold classes, workshops and other history projects to promote community research and preservation.

Students of Rose Beiler, UCF’s director of public history, also are beginning to collect interviews with people connected to the 1902 building to preserve the history of one of the oldest continuously used schools in the state. It previously was Sanford’s first high school, a grammar school and Seminole County Public Schools’ Student Museum. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.