Pumpkin Parade a spooky success

30 Oct

For months now, every since the Webster Parks and Recreation folks started promoting this year’s Pumpkins on Parade, they promised that the third annual event would be better than ever before. Well, I stopped by for about an hour to check it out, and I have to say this:

They weren’t lying.

Pumpkins on Parade took place at the Webster Recreation Center on Saturday night from 7 to 8:30 p.m. If you missed the festivities, you missed one of the most enjoyable events of Webster’s Halloween season. About 700 creatively carved, illuminated jack-o-lanterns were placed along the entire one-mile long Chiyoda Trail that wraps around the back of the Rec Center, and a shorter path set up especially for toddlers and seniors. Several places on the main trail were also illuminated with strings of multi-colored lights, and a number of spooky ghosts hung from the trees.

The trails themselves weren’t too different from previous years; the wide variety of jack-o-lanterns was delightful and in several places stopped a lot of people in their tracks. It was fun listening to the little kids “oooh” and “ahhh” at every new design and point out cats or spiders, or characters they recognized from their favorite shows.

But it was the slew of new activities at the end of the trail that really made this year’s Pumpkins on Parade the best ever. In addition to the free cider and donuts for everyone (offered every year), the Rec Center folks added a whole bunch of new family activities: a hay bale maze for the little kids, a rolly-slide, a dedicated children’s activities tent, a “photo booth” and a huge bonfire.

It was an extremely well-run event, to boot. Plans for parking the hundreds of cars were clearly well thought out in advance, and took good advantage of the two parking lots across Chiyoda Drive from the Rec Center (complete with life-sized traffic cones directing cars). Upbeat music got kids and adults dancing as they walked up the long driveway, even before they reached the path’s entrance. The post-walk activities were spaced all across the big fields behind the Rec Center, leaving plenty of room for kids to run around and chase each other. There were a few thousand people milling around among the activities, but it never felt crowded or annoying.

It was basically a big Halloween-themed festival that had something for everyone to do — moms, dads, kids and grandparents alike.

Thank you to the Webster Recreation Department for a wonderful event. But thanks also to the Webster community. It’s only with your amazing support that this event could happen.

Parks and Recreation Commissioner Chris Bilow called participation from the community “unbelievable.” He was particularly amazed by how many people actually purchased their own pumpkins, even though the Rec Center offered to provide them. Six businesses stepped forward to carve, and Spry Middle School alone carved 70 pumpkins.

As I left the event, I told Bilow that there was only one thing wrong with this year’s Pumpkins on Parade: it was so awesome, there’s really no way they can make it better next year. He looked at me with a little grin and replied, “Oh, I got a few more ideas up my sleeve.”

Guess we’re going to have to wait until next year to find out what they are.

Click here for a full gallery of photos from the evening.

* * *

email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

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(posted 10/30/2022)

2 Responses to “Pumpkin Parade a spooky success”

  1. Penny Swingly October 30, 2022 at 7:48 pm #

    missy can’t get the pics to come thru

    • websterontheweb November 1, 2022 at 4:46 pm #

      Yeah, thanks Penny. I only just noticed that late last night myself. Should be fixed now.

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