UCF’s new Public History Center in Sanford will host its inaugural PumpkinFest on Oct. 27, celebrating the region’s renewed connection to the Seminole pumpkin variety that was first cultivated by native Floridians in the 1500s before it was almost lost in modern times.

The family event also will feature the history of Halloween through storytelling, games, crafts and educational exhibits.

“PumpkinFest is a great way for families to learn about the Seminole pumpkin’s association to Florida history and to interact in ways that are both educational and fun,” said Rosalind Beiler, UCF’s director of public history. “We think this makes our event unique and serves as a great historical connection.”

Events such as PumpkinFest help support the University of Central Florida’s goal of engaging the community to learn from and contribute to its own history.

The Public History Center, at 301 W. 7th St., was formerly known as Seminole County Public School’s Student Museum, an interpretive center and hands-on history museum. The former 1902 school building features an original classroom, pioneer room with a log cabin and tools; Grandma’s Attic with vintage household items and clothes; and other displays.

PumpkinFest will be 1-5 p.m. and a donation of $5 per person is suggested.

Some gardeners say the Seminole pumpkin is one of the easiest edible plants to grow. The variety is making a great comeback as a summer-season plant. The fruit is sweeter than other gourds, yellow or orange in color, and not stringy. It can be baked, steamed, boiled, fried or sun-dried as the native Floridians did.

For more information about PumpkinFest or other programs at the Public History Center, call 407-936-1679 or e-mail [email protected].