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Best valley Halloween bargain? North Logan’s free Pumpkin Walk

October 23rd, 2009 Posted in Arts and Life

Story and photo by Amanda Pierce

NORTH LOGAN–Every October about 50,000 people attend the North Logan Pumpkin Walk to see more than 800 carved and painted pumpkins arranged into whimsical scenes.
The Pumpkin Walk was started in 1982 by Ida Beutler and was held on the Beutler farm. She wanted to do something fun and not too scary for the kids, said Gina Worthen, Pumpkin Walk publicist. Almost as soon as it began, it became so popular that it was difficult to find parking. So the city moved it to Elk Ridge Park at 1050 E. 2500 North. This year the Pumpkin Walk will be open Oct. 22-24 and 26-27 from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day.

“It works really great and the park is such a great place for it,” Worthen said. The city added a paved walkway in the park a few years ago, which makes it possible for people who are handicapped to get around, she said.

Hundreds of people volunteer every year, “as many pumpkins as volunteers,” Worthen said. There are kids who do their Eagle Scout projects by lighting all of the pumpkins each night, and handymen who “know how to screw wood together and stuff” who help to set up the scenes. More than 150 USU students carved more than 400 pumpkins that line the walkway, and there are many groups who make the pumpkin scenes.

“We have all sorts of people doing scenes. My group (has) probably eight to 10 people,” she said. “Some groups are just one or two. It just depends.” Groups can be made up of family, friends, or even businesses.

“We don’t commercialize, though,” Worthen said. “That’s been a real thing that we want to keep out. That’s part of the charm. We don’t let them put out a big sign like ‘Eat at Joe’s.’ ”

Every year, a 12-person executive committee comes up with the theme for the Pumpkin Walk. This year’s them is “And now, a word from our sponsor.”

“We just sit around and think, ‘What would be a fun thing to do? What would be a fun theme?’ And it just kind of happens,” Worthen said. “We go, ‘Oh yeah, that would be great.’ ” Although scenes aren’t required to follow the theme, it helps people come up with ideas and helps give the event cohesion, she said.

It takes a lot of time and work to set up the Pumpkin Walk. Worthen said she’s been planning since August and has been setting up since Oct. 17. Most groups take one or two days to set up their pumpkin scene.

The Pumpkin Walk is free to the public, thanks to many donations. North Logan City buys the pumpkins grown by the Jensen’s farm, the Pumpkin Walk T-shirts worn by the chairman of each scene, wood, and the lighting, Worthen said. The cookies that each guest receives at the end of the walk and the snacks for volunteers are donated by Pepperidge Farm.

“We just want to keep it free, so we do what we can. The city helping us with lights and those kinds of things. That makes a big difference,” Worthen said. “I still buy stuff for my scene, but I don’t have to buy the pumpkins. Each scene maker will spend some money, but it’s not bad.”

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