LOGAN — Hot apple cider, eating popcorn and carving pumpkins were just a few options families could choose from at the Hocking Athens Perry Community Action Fall Harvest celebrated last week.
HAPCAP has hosted its fall Halloween festival every year Rose Hanson can remember since she first started working at Head Start. She’s worked for Head Start the last 14 years and has been a bus driver the past four.
When asked what her favorite aspect of the festival is and why she keeps volunteering for it, Hanson remarked, “I think just seeing the kids in their little wild outfits.”
Beginning at 5 p.m. until 7:30 p.m., parents and community members could bring their children to enjoy the activities and food provided by Head Start, HAPCAP, and the Southeast Ohio Food Bank volunteers offered.
The event was free and open to everyone in the community with the exception of a dinner that was provided. Families could choose from hot soup, caramel apples, hot dogs, corn dogs, corn muffins, popcorn and hot chocolate to warm them up.
Games and fun offered throughout the evening included a bounce house, train ride, a gross mystery box game, face painting, pumpkin carving or painting and macaroni necklace making.
David Keller, the Development Coordinator at the Southeast Ohio Food Bank, loves this event and explained how this is a way the organizations pull together to say thanks to the community and volunteers that help out in every way.
“Look at it, it’s awesome! First of all, I love Halloween, I’m a sucker for it. But also getting the kids out here in their costumes, having some food, pumpkins, the bounce house and all that stuff, it’s just a fun event. You don’t have to twist my arm to get me to work this,” expressed Keller.
Claire Gysegem is the public relations manager for HAPCAP and was working the event for the first time as a face painter.
“My favorite part about this is our Head Start students coming and they get to see the teachers outside of the classroom all dressed up, it’s very fun for them. Also we have some food giveaways too so like we’ll be giving away produce, the kids can take a pumpkin home with them so I think just providing that fun experience,” voiced Gysegem.
The produce for the event, such as the pumpkins, was provided through the state but all of the crafts, games and decorations were put together with the help of HAPCAP volunteers.
When walking around, children in their costumes waddled, walked or ran, according to their costume character. One family dressed up as inflatable dinosaurs and another as a family of honeybees.
Danielle Hunt, mother of Zoey and Rusty Ashbaugh, said she’s been bringing both her children for two years now.
Zoey Ashbaugh took a big bite of her caramel apple with sprinkles as she said the face painting was her favorite portion of the event. Her brother, Rusty, exclaimed that the, “Train and the bouncy house!” was his favorite.
Mom, Danielle Hunt, reminisced her time spent with her kids as she said, “Just everyone coming together — it’s nice — and all the fun activities they have for the kids.”