Valle Crucis Punkin Festival Oct. 23
The fifth annual Valle Crucis Punkin Festival is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 23.
It is held in the field beside the Mast Store Annex and is a fund raiser for the Western Youth Network (WYN), an organization supporting youth and families in Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties. 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 punkin 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.
"We've had such a good time the last several years putting together the festival and seeing families come out and enjoy themselves," said Tracey Thompson, one of the organizers of the Punkin Festival and an employee at the Mast General Store. "Kids and parents were working together carving punkins, and there's lots of laughter from the games.
"Some of the games you'll remember from the carnival midway and fall festivals from long ago. We try them out ourselves and figure if we have fun with them, others will, too!"
The games include Apple Bob, Tin Can Alley, a Punkin Sack Race, Go Fish, Punkin Bowling and Hoop-La.
This year's festival will feature a craft section with stained glass artists, face painters, jewelry and more. Plans include having several interactive booths where kids can learn about wildlife and enjoying the outdoors.
WYN is a partner in the festival and will receive the proceeds from the event.
"The Punkin Festival is an event that brings together our kids, our young volunteers, and our parents in a fun atmosphere," said Jennifer Grubb, WYN executive director. "We get to have fun and share it with visitors from all over the region!"
What would a Punkin Festival be without punkins?
"The foundation of the festival is our no-muss, no-fuss punkin carving area," Thompson said.
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.
"We've come up with a great system over the years and have discovered that a Shop Vac is an invaluable tool for the success of our festival," Thompson said.
These punkins will be available for a donation to WYN.
Entertainment will be provided by local musicians.
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.
Of course, this question begs for an answer - Why punkin? Once you attend the festival, the answer is quite evident. It's because "punkin" is so much more fun than "pumpkin."
WYN hopes you'll come out for "carvin' for a cause" on Oct. 23. For more information on the festival, call the Western Youth Network at (828) 264-5174 or visit http://www.PunkinFestival.com.