On Oct. 22, the Town of Crossfield will be hosting its popular pumpkin hunt event, providing a chance for local kids to find and keep their own jack-o-lantern, take home some treats, win prizes, and dress up in their favourite costumes.
According to Eris Latham, the recreation and event coordinator for the Town, this year’s pre-registered event sold out within minutes of tickets being available online at Eventbrite. She added the event has been a fan-favourite fall activity with Crossfieldians since the Town first hosted it approximately 15 years ago.
“It’s been a very popular event for a generation and a half,” she said. “We’ve done it in Veterans [Peace] Park, rain or shine, [and] it’s become very popular in recent years and we’re doing our best to keep up with demand.”
Latham credits the popularity of the event to the atmosphere it provides participants.
“A lot of the kids will bring their Halloween costumes and dress up and it’s just a chance for everybody to see each other and do something that’s fun,” she said. “Especially in these times right now, [we’ve] been quite restricted, so the ability to host it outside plays a huge part in it.
“It’s an exciting time of year, too. The seasons change and kids are back in school. They’re back with their friends and it gives the parents a chance to reconnect.”
Eris added the hunt will be hosted in the forested area of Veterans Peace Park on the north side of Crossfield, and will be divided into two sections – one for the younger participants, and one for an older crew.
“It just makes it a little bit easier for parents to navigate,” she said. “Also, it’s easier to keep track of the pumpkins when we can do it sectioned off.”
The hunt will begin at 5 p.m. and will be run in half-hour intervals to accommodate for social distancing and enhanced safety measures. The event will wrap up at 8 p.m.
Latham said the event is outdoors, which means it is not subject to a provincial mandate on attendance. However, she noted added measures were put in place to ensure a safe experience for all who take part.
“We just want to keep it more manageable, and we want to be able to distance everybody,” she said.
Those registered in the event will be tasked with going into the forest and finding their assigned pumpkin, which will be according to a number they were given beforehand. Latham added a glow stick will be placed inside each pumpkin to make them easier to see when it starts to get dark, and flashlights will also be provided.
“They get to hunt through the forest until they find their [assigned] pumpkin,” she said. “They’re also going to be taking their pumpkin home with them and their treat bag.
“Everybody who is registered is going to be entered into a draw for a take-home package for their family, including a popcorn maker and popcorn, movies, games, and some treats.”
She added there will also be a display set up by local western display shop Blazing Saddles for kids to get their picture taken with.
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