Local fall festivities will continue with Wind Creek State Park’s annual fall festival Friday and Saturday.
The event started 12 years ago to attract off season visitors and has grown to the campground now being completely booked this weekend, according to park superintendent Bruce Adams.
The festival starts Friday with a pumpkin carving contest at 5:30 p.m. Participants’ pumpkins must already be carved at the contest and judging begins at 6:15 p.m.
The festival continues at noon Saturday with a carnival located at the camping overflow. The carnival will include games, food vendors and displays from local fire and police departments.
“We’ll have rides and
games set up in the horse camping area right at the exit of the area,” Adams said. “We give away a lot of toys and trinkets to kids.”
A costume parade will be held at 4 p.m. Adams said people of all ages can participate, but trick-or-treating at the campsites at 5:30 p.m. is for children up to 12 years old.
“Campers will have candy set out,” Adams said.
There is also a competition for decorated campers for fall and spooky categories. There will be prizes for the winners.
The park will also hold a haunted hayride and a children’s hayride at 7 p.m. at the beach parking lot. The haunted hayride is meant to be family friendly and has a few jump scares, according to parks worker Alex Mason.
“It’s not traumatizing at all,” Mason said. “It’s mostly family oriented stuff.”
Adams warns parking will be limited due to the popularity of the festival. The park has had to cut off traffic the last two years due to the popularity of the event.
“Everybody needs to be prepared to walk too because most of its foot traffic,” Adams said. “Once we get everyone parked it will be limited traffic in and out. They have to walk.”
Mason predicts about 2,000 to 3,000 people will attend.
“The carnival is typically full and it’s a very large field,” Mason said.
Most campers are from the area, but a lot of visitors are out of state, according to Mason.
The state park is closing its picnic area this weekend for the festival and it takes about two months to plan the festival, according to Mason.
Adams and Bruce said their favorite part of the festival is seeing the children enjoy the events.
“It’s a yearly planning thing,” Mason said. “We start planning it as soon as we end one.”
Mason said people should attend the event to get into the Halloween spirit early.
“We all know how much kids enjoy Halloween,” Mason said.
Due to traffic in the evening, Adams suggests spending the whole day at the festival.
Those who are attending the festival but not camping will have to pay the day use fee of $5 per person ages 12 to 61. Cost is $2 for children 4 to 11 and seniors 62 and older.
For more information, contact Wind Creek State Park at 256-329-0845 or email email@example.com. It is open daily from 7 a.m. to dark.