Community

Pumpkin Walk at Foster Park

Hundreds of jack-o-lanterns line the trails at Foster Park in Parksville each Halloween. - News file photo
Hundreds of jack-o-lanterns line the trails at Foster Park in Parksville each Halloween.
— image credit: News file photo

Every Halloween for the past 15 years, the Friends of Foster Park have turned the neighborhood green space into kid friendly place for families to enjoy the occasion and the tradition continues this year.

The Pumpkin Walk in Foster Park is a labour of love for the volunteers who transform the park into a jack-o-lantern village.

This is no ordinary walk as participants meander through the forest on trails that are lined on both sides with carved pumpkins lit with candles.

The 300 plus pumpkins are provided by the Friends of Foster Park and are carved by the students at local schools.

Doug Courtice, who has been with the group for eight years, said the event takes a lot of volunteer hours but all the hard work is worth it when you can provide a family friendly venue for parents to take their young ones to on Halloween.

Courtice, who lives on Foster Drive, said the event brings a lot of people into the neighborhood every Halloween night.

“We get roughly 200 kids at our door on Halloween but we don’t mind because we are providing a safe place for kids to come. We’ve never run out of candy, but we’ve come close,” he admitted.

He said the pumpkin-lined trails are more for fun than fear, and that allows for more peaceful sleeps for the little ones at bedtime.

He said each year Thrifty Foods, Quality Foods and Save on Foods  give them a special rate on pumpkins and then the carving begins.

The Parksville Newcomers Alumni provide the trucks and muscle to move the pumpkins from the store to the middle schools where students get creative with their knives. Once the pumpkins are transformed into art work, they are then transported to the park, inserted with candles and then put out on the trails.

The spook-tackular event saw about 1200 children and adults last year who enjoyed over 400 pumpkin masterpieces.

Parents new to the area can be assured it isn’t a trail of terror and there are no blood curdling creepy jack-o-lanterns

At the end of the trail a warm open fire awaits children and adults as well as hotdogs and hot chocolate and once again Re/Max Realtor Peter Zimmerman will be donating candy bags.

Many adults dress up for the occasion and locals are invited to add their own pumpkins to the trail

The 15th Annual Pumpkin Walk at Foster Park  goes from 7 to 10 p.m. on the corner of Pym Street and Sanderson Road in Parksville.

 

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