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The Big Pumpkin! Gourd lovers work hard on 32nd year of pumpkin fest

November 9th, 2015 Posted in Arts and Life

Story and Photos by Jaesea Gatherum

NORTH LOGAN — The Pumpkin Walk is one of North Logan’s longest traditions. Thirty-two years strong, this event brings people from all over Cache Valley to Elk Ridge Park to admire life-sized scenes made out of the orange vegetable.

Carved pumpkins lined the pathway through the Pumpkin Walk at Elk Ridge Park. (Jaesea Gatherum photo)

Carved pumpkins lined the pathway through the Pumpkin Walk at Elk Ridge Park. (Jaesea Gatherum photo)

There were more than 35 displays this year that spectators could look at as they strolled through the jack-o’-lantern-lined pathway. These creations are made solely by volunteers — families, church groups and businesses.

The Pumpkin Walk was open only for six days before Halloween, but volunteers prepare for the event for the entire year. They spend countless hours growing pumpkins, deciding on the theme for the event, and creating, setting up and taking down the scenes.

“The Pumpkin Walk is an example of what volunteers can do,” said Alan Luce, North Logan’s public works director. “They do a great job.”

Volunteers also come each night of the Pumpkin Walk to keep the location clean, safe and fun.

“There are a lot of volunteers,” said Jason Earl, a senior at Skyview High who volunteered to light jack-o’-lanterns for his Eagle Scout project. “I’ve noticed at least 10 kids my age lighting pumpkins that have gone out.”

The visitors notice the handiwork that goes into making these immaculate scenes, which helps them return to the Pumpkin Walk year after year.

“This is our third year,” said Stephanie Hendricks, with her four young children in tow. “It’s just a fun, free activity and it’s cool to see the creativity.”

Like the Hendricks family, the Loveless family has been coming to the Pumpkin Walk for years.

“We come every year for family home evening,” said 14-year-old Brooklynn Loveless. “I don’t even know how many times we’ve been.”

Three-month-old Skyla Winters is the cutest jack-o’-lantern at the Pumpkin Walk. (Jaesea Gatherum photo)

Three-month-old Skyla Winters is the cutest jack-o’-lantern at the Pumpkin Walk. (Jaesea Gatherum photo)

Not everyone who attends the Pumpkin Walk is a returnee. All traditions need to start somewhere, so for Richard and Savannah Winters and their 3-month-old daughter, Skyla, this was the year to start.

“This is her first time at the Pumpkin Walk,” Savannah Winters said. “She just loves being outside.”

This year was also Utah State University student Bethany Heywood’s first time at the Pumpkin Walk. She said she was impressed with how well-done the scenes were with the use of pumpkins and some paint.

“I really liked it,” she said. “The ‘Dumb and Dumber’ scene was my favorite because they did a good job at resembling the movie.”

Pumpkin creations were posed in familiar scenes from well-known movies like Dumb and Dumber, Hotel Transylvania and Back to the Future, as well as TV shows like Seinfield and The Flintstones.

“There were so many volunteers,” said City Councilwoman Kristen Anderson, who helped set up some of the displays. “It turned out really great.”

Although this year’s Pumpkin Walk is history, there’s still plenty to do. Many volunteers are needed each year to create displays, carve pumpkins, pass out cookies, maintain the campfires and much more. More information about how to help North Logan keep this tradition alive is available at http://www.pumpkinwalk.com/pwvolunteer.html

TP

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