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Pumpkin must go on

Had it not been canceled because of COVID-19, this would have been the weekend of the annual Barnesville Pumpkin Festival.

Despite this, some businesses in the village are holding little sales and events, and at this writing the King Pumpkin Weigh-Off was going to be held in an undisclosed location Friday, with video of it posted online.

It is amazing to see the giant gourds in person, though. The first time we took our son Henry to see them, he was amazed. I also remember the streets being packed with people, especially around the area where the winning pumpkins were located. This adds to the excitement, but with this virus still floating around I guess it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Still, the pumpkin growers’ work didn’t go to waste this year, and that’s a good thing. At $2 per pound for the heaviest, or King, that can be some pretty good prize money for the winner.

On a side note, because of our son’s love of Halloween our house is starting to look like a real haunted shack outside. Every time we go to the dollar store he wants to get one more skeleton or one more ghost to add to his graveyard or to hang from the porch. This reminds of the couple Halloweens my husband and I set up a graveyard in our side yard when we lived in Shadyside years ago.

He cut out headstones from plywood, painted them gray and wrote on them with black lettering. Then we added some lighted jack-o-lanterns here and there. I think we might have had a smoke machine, spooky music and even a strobe light, too.

To get their candy, kids had to walk through the middle of the graveyard. The first year, my husband dressed himself up to look like a scarecrow sitting in a chair near the candy table. He sat so still that people were not sure if he was alive or not. Kids would hit him in the legs with their bags. As they would start to walk away, he would slowly stand up and start walking toward them. They ran so fast, laughing all the way.

One kid’s mom walked through, too, saying he was a fake. As she walked away he started to get up and she ran and screamed. It was hilarious! Those were good times.

Halloween will be a little different this year because of the virus, but still fun, I think. Stay safe — and spooky — out there.

Hanson can be reached at shanson@timesleaderonline.com.

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