The annual Great Pumpkin Hunt Halloween event at Darke County Parks filled to capacity once again this year. The staff and volunteers spent their Saturday afternoon on October 22nd helping little goblins, princesses, witches, and even a pirate or two find their candy and treats hidden in the woods at Shawnee Prairie. Each child had to act like a native Ohio animal at each station before receiving a clue to the treats’ locations.
Inside the nature center, the children and their families also painted and decorated pumpkins which they selected from the “pumpkin patch” atop the hill behind the building. The Darke County Park District would like to extend a huge thank you to Aultman Farms for donating all the pumpkins. From the youngest children reveling in the messiness and color of the paint to the oldest participants capturing the nuances of bats on their gourd canvases, everyone enjoyed an artistic afternoon.
Pumpkin Hunt participants also had an opportunity to take a hay ride around the prairie between stopping for treats, and over 100 people partook. Event organizer and Naturalist, Mandy Martin, said, “The best part of this popular family event was the kids getting outside in nature and exploring the park.” She said the event which has gone on for over ten years has become an annual tradition for many families in the area.
The Darke County Park District thanks everyone who helped or volunteered with The Great Pumpkin Hunt, some as trail monitors, paint helpers, or organizers, and some with set-up, tear down, or donations. Without the kindness and generosity of the community, events like this would not be possible. Thank you!