Pumpkins in the Park, Oct. 24-26 at Wilderness Road State Park

Pumpkins in the Park has enjoyed tremendous popularity as a premier event at Wilderness Road State Park. The event will kick off with the 4th annual special Kids Night on Oct. 24 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. That will be followed by two nights of the wildly popular Haunted Trail Hayride on Oct. 25-26. The hayride lines will be open from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. with everyone in line by 10 p.m. getting to enjoy the ride.

“Last year, there were over 700 kids that really had a good time with pumpkin painting, storytelling, music and treats during the Kids Night,” explained park manager Scott Bowen.

Kids Night will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the Karlan Mansion lawn and will be highlighted by the community based Trunk-or-Treat. Please note, there will be no Haunted Hayrides this night, just the activities mentioned above. Admission to kids night is just $2 per vehicle.

Children 12 and under wishing to participate in the costume contests should meet near the front of the Karlan Mansion by 6 p.m. Prizes will be awarded for the costume contests in three categories: ages infant-3 years, ages 4-7 and ages 8-12. The winner of each age group will receive a Wal-Mart gift card.

To help meet the demand of costume-clad candy seeking children, the park is actively seeking area churches, businesses, organizations and families to come out and participate in order to make it a true community event. Groups can set-up trunk or treat scenes for free. The scene voted best overall will win a free picnic shelter rental. Call the park office to register to set up a trunk or treat scene before October 21st.

Participants (trunkers) park on the Karlan Mansion lawn to distribute candy from the trunks of their vehicle. Each trunker is encouraged, but not required, to dress up, decorate their vehicle and create signs recognizing their church, group, business or family.

The Haunted Trail Hayride will be featured on Friday (Oct. 25) and Saturday (Oct. 26) nights with admission still just $10 per vehicle. Alternate rain dates will be Monday (Oct. 28) and Tuesday (Oct. 29).

The Haunted Trail Hayride is a 30-minute, spine-tingling journey along a wooded trail that features spooky scenes and scares behind just about every tree. This setting is sure to illicit a scream or two.

This year’s event is sponsored by the Friends of Wilderness Road State Park, Lawson Building Supply, WJNV, Hill’s Auto Repair and McPherson’s Farm Equipment. For more information, or to find out how your church, group, business or family can help make this event a success, please call the park at 276-445-3065, or via email: wildernessroad@dcr.virginia.gov.

The award-winning Virginia State Parks are managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

For more information about Virginia State Parks’ activities and amenities or to make reservations in one of the more than 1,800 campsites or 300 climate-controlled cabins, call the Virginia State Parks Reservation Center at 800-933-PARK or visit www.virginiastateparks.gov.