Chagrin Falls: Annual pumpkin roll 'rolled' on Tuesday

11:22 AM, Oct 24, 2012   |    comments
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CHAGRIN FALLS -- Juniors and seniors from Chagrin Falls High School held their traditional pumpkin roll just after midnight Tuesday.

About 240 rollers marched in unison up Main Street and climbed Main Street's Grove Hill, most toting plastic sleds and snow saucers, ready for the ride of their high school lives.

For the past 40-plus years, the CFHS juniors and seniors steal pumpkins throughout the Chagrin Valley in late September and through October.

They are then stashed away in garages and barns until the night of the roll.

Police from Chagrin Falls, Moreland Hills, South Russell and Bentleyville were ready for them this year, having coordinated the annual roll with students for safety reasons.

Barricades were set up at the bottom and top of Grove Hill, as well as the side streets along the hill and Summit Street.

A person only described by police as "an adult" brought two truckloads of purloined pumpkins up the hill around 11 p.m., dumping them at the summit.

On the third trip, the truck was followed minutes later by the students. They were quick to start tossing and smashing pumpkins on the hill. That's to create the slippery goo of pumpkin innards and pumpkin seeds to slide down the hill.

The light rain that fell just before midnight helped make the roadway a bit slick to begin with.

The roll was still going strong at 1:30 a.m.

Police tell WKYC that they made a few arrests of students for underage consumption of alcohol. No alcohol containers were seen at the roll but the smell of alcohol was detectable among a few of the students, despite the almost overpowering smell of "pumpkin."

The Chagrin Falls Fire Department was also called for two girls, one who was injured sliding down the hill and another who apparently passed out from drinking.

Police also said they will cite the truck's driver for "dumping debris on the roadway," a citation that has always been issued for whomever drives the trucks or SUVs that bring pumpkins to the roll.

Once the roll ends, the village's service department will bring out a front-end loader to scrape the debris from the roadway. Rogue pumpkins that managed to roll all the way down the hill past Orange Street will be gathered up by hand.

Once all the pumpkin mess has been loaded into a dump truck, the hill will be hosed down and reopened. Police will determine the cost of having the service department clean up the mess and then bill the truck driver who delivered the pumpkins.

A collection is usually taken up among the students and given to the driver to pay the bill. 

And know that it's not unusual to see one or two pumpkins left behind in a nook or cranny when the sun rises the morning after.


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