PONCA – Those who are fans of Halloween are invited to Ponca State Park for two Saturday’s of fun for all ages during the 19th annual Hallowfest.
Entering its 19th year, Hallowfest offers a variety of unique activities that have made the event a fall tradition for many families. Some of the activities include campsite and cabin decorating contests, a pumpkin roll, pumpkin carving contest, haunted hayrack rides season crafts and more.
Lynn Mellick is the Events Coordinator at Ponca State Park. She said the event keeps on growing.
“The people love coming back year after year and participating in that,” said Mellick. “Then we see new people coming each year because they’ve talked to people who’ve been a part of that in the past and they want to experience that as well.”
18 years ago, when Hallowfest began, the event took place on a Friday and Saturday combination, but now has spread out into two Saturday’s.
Hallowfest will take place on Saturday, October 14 and Saturday, October 21.
Each day will be similar, opening with crafts for all ages from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. inside the Resource and Education Center. Average prices per craft is $1.
Moving into the afternoon between 1 – 3:30 p.m. there’ll be a pumpkin carving contest located on Scout Hill with prizes awarded in three age groups. Cost is $3 per small to medium sized pumpkins and $5 for Brutus size pumpkins. During that same time there’ll be a maze, s’mores and other free activities.
Also, at 1 p.m. the pumpkin roll obstacle course will take place on Scout Hill with prizes awarded to three age groups according to Mellick.
“The goal of this competition is to try and get your pumpkin the furthest to be awarded prizes,” Mellick added. “But, we also add little things into that as well. There’ll be certain features in the obstacle course.”
The event will go until everyone gets through the competition. Costs will be $3 per small to medium sized pumpkins and $5 for Brutus size pumpkins.
Prizes will be awarded throughout Ponca State Park for those who take part in decorating their campsites and cabins at 6 p.m.
“The way people will know is if their campsite or cabin won is there’ll be a yard sign that’s been put in their yard that says which place that you won,” Mellick mentioned. “If it was first, second or third and then you’ll be asked to come up to the Center to pick up your prizes for that.”
Concluding both Saturday evenings will be haunted hayrack rides, but all pre-registered spots were filled up in about 45 minutes on Monday, October 9.
For more information on Ponca State Park’s 19th annual Hallowfest, visit outdoornebraska.gov/ponca, like Northeast Nebraska State Parks on Facebook or call the park at 402-755-2284.