Valle Crucis Punkin Festival Oct. 22

Article Published: Oct. 13, 2011 | Modified: Oct. 22, 2011
Valle Crucis Punkin Festival Oct. 22

The family-friendly Punkin Festival returns to Valle Crucis Oct. 22.
Photo courtesy of Sheri Moretz

The sixth annual Valle Crucis Punkin Festival is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 22.

This year, the festival is in a new location, the Valle Crucis Elementary School, just a stone’s throw from the previous site of punkin fun. Festival hours are 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.

The Valle Crucis Punkin Festival is a kid-friendly event with games, entertainment, crafts, food and pumpkin carving. The games are a hodgepodge of old-fashioned offerings that involve both skill and luck. Younger children will enjoy playing them, and they are challenging enough for older kids, too.
Why “punkin?” As organizers attest, “Once you attend the festival, the answer is quite evident. It’s because ‘punkin’ is so much more fun than ‘pumpkin.’”

“We’re excited about our new location,” said Hollie Storie, one of the organizers of the Punkin Festival and an employee at Western Youth Network. “We have more space to incorporate the old-fashioned games along with new experiences for kids, like Bouncy Houses.”

Some of the games may be familiar from the carnival midway and fall festivals from long ago like Apple Bob, Punkin Sack Races, Go Fish, Punkin Bowling and Hoop-La. “The greatest thing at the festival is kids and parents, and grandparents, working together, carving punkins, and the laughter and smiles from the games,” Storie said.

Of course, no festival is complete without food, crafts, and music. This year’s festival will feature stained glass artists, face painters, jewelry and more. Plans include having several interactive booths where kids can learn about wildlife and enjoying the outdoors.

Ital Acoustic, a local reggae band, is donating its talents to entertain festival-goers, but what would a Punkin Festival be without punkins?

“The foundation of the festival is our no-muss, no-fuss punkin carving area,” said Beth Shuford, a festival organizer from Valle Crucis School.

All punkins to be carved will already have the seeds and pulp removed. All you have to do is come up with a design and carve away.

“Our friends at the Mast Store came up with a great system over the years and discovered that a Shop Vac is an invaluable tool for the success of this festival,” Shuford said.

The punkins will be available for a donation.

Western Youth Network (WYN) is partnering with the Valle Crucis Elementary School PTSA to put on the festival. Proceeds will be split between the two groups. WYN serves families in Ashe, Avery, and Watauga Counties, providing role models for kids and providing them a safe place to grow. The Valle Crucis School PTSA helps round out the educational experience by supporting teachers and students to make learning fun and engaging.

Game tickets will be three for $1 and can be used for playing the games. Commemorative festival T-shirts will be available on site, as will bake sale items and hot cider and cocoa.

For more information on the festival, call Western Youth Network at (828) 264-5174, Valle Crucis Elementary School at (828) 963-4712, or visit The Valle Crucis Punkin Festival is sponsored by the Mast General Store.

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