Our little hamlet came to life this past Saturday when a great many families arrived in town to take part in the Annual Craigmyle Pumpkin Fest. Most of the activities were located outdoors and the “weather gods” smiled down and provided a fine day for the event; at least until the daily wind came up later in the day! Youngsters milled about the church grounds trying to take advantage of all the great things happening. A clown photo booth and other interesting photo props kept parents busy snapping pictures. Face painting and giant outdoor games of Kerplunk and Connect 4 were available at no cost.
The highlight of the day was the hayride to the pumpkin patch where each youngster chose their very own “most special” pumpkin. The pumpkin patch, decorated with scarecrows, bales, flowers and pumpkins, created great photo opportunities. Upon returning to the church, each pumpkin owner took their treasure to the Pumpkin Decorating Center where they utilized their own flair to make a unique pumpkin creation.
For a small fee youngsters could purchase tickets which entitled them to participate in their choice of eight different centers where they could win points to cash in for prizes. The prize table manager was indeed a busy person doling out the prizes as the youngsters cashed in their earned points.
A kid friendly lunch was also available for families to enjoy in the cool church basement.
One attendee, who was about three years old, chose a small ornamental white pumpkin when he went to the patch. Upon returning he wandered to one of the free activities, carrying his water bottle and his miniature white pumpkin. The attendant at the activity he was eying up offered to look after his water bottle and his pumpkin while he played the game. He willingly gave up his water bottle but still clutched his pumpkin. When the attendant suggested he could put his pumpkin down he replied, “I can’t.” She assured him that she would look after it very well and make sure no one took it. To which the little boy replied, “No, I can’t let you hold it because my pumpkin will miss me.”
It is moments like that when you know that the time invested in an event has been worth every second!
This year’s Craigmyle Pumpkin Fest involved well over 20 volunteers, who so willingly gave their time on a weekend to provide a fun time for families. All these volunteers need to be commended for their efforts. You helped create a grand experience for so many children. To view some great pictures of the event, check out the Craigmyle Historic Society facebook page.
Organizing volunteers were busy in the days before the pumpkin fest but another group of volunteers, who have been working for months for this event, were highly challenged with this year’s severe drought. Thanks go to pumpkin growers Susan Rees, John Cranton, Mike Hart, Donna Johnson, Barb Lauson, Cherrylle Faechner and Bev Bergman who all contributed pumpkins to the event. Left over pumpkins will be distributed to schools and the nursing home.
The purpose of the pumpkin fest is to provide an inexpensive fun day for families. Any fees charged are designed to help pay for the cost of the event. In reality, this event often does not pay for itself.
Watch for the next Pumpkin Fest coming up, which will likely be on September 8, 2018.
The extreme hot dry weather has created ideal fire hazard conditions. In the very early morning hours of September 8 a fire started south of Craigmyle that was quite out of hand by the time it was discovered. Farmyards lay in its path and local Fire Departments, Hutterite Colonies and farmers responded to the need for help. The fire was contained after burning a number of acres of hay and pasture land and an abandoned farmstead. Craigmyle firefighters were on the scene for 15 consecutive hours. Fire Chief, Brent Olmstead, was looking a bit weary as he took the responsibility of the Pumpkin Fest hay ride the next day.
I am saddened to report the recent passing of former Craigmyle resident Ken Rees of Didsbury. Ken and his wife, Bev, have been key players in the renovations in the Craigmyle Church basement over the past 10 years. As well as volunteering his help to community facilities and events, Ken willingly gave hours of his time to help any friends in this community. Sincere condolences go out to Bev, Duane, Mike and Heather, their spouses and children as well as Ken’s extended family. Good people are so missed.
Birthday greetings go out to Barney Irwin on September 16; Dawn Hanson and Don West on September 18; Sean Olmstead on September 19; and Grant Hunter and Connie West who share September 20. Happy Anniversary to Vern and Dawn Hanson on September 21. Have a great day!