Boardman Park celebrates Halloween with annual weekend fun

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Boardman Park displayed the pumpkins from The Great Pumpkin Crave-Out Contest throughout the month of October. The park lit the pumpkins every night.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Boardman Park set up a bounce castle, rock wall, food trailers, a fire pit and a popcorn machine during their The Great Pumpkin Crave-Out Contest and haunted hayride events on Oct. 13.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Joe Sullivan entertained families during the event on Oct. 13. Sullivan, dressed as Old MacDonald, made balloon animals and kept families laughing through the night. He has worked at The Great Pumpkin Carve Out Contest since its inception and often work with the park throughout the year.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Boardman Park set up huanted hayrides on Oct. 13. The parks has had hayrides in October for more than 20 years. Every year, the hayrides are designed for families to enjoy.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Families participated in The Great Pumpkin Crave-Out Contest that ran from Oct. 13-15 at Boardman Park. The park placed the pumpkins on display in different age ranges.

By ZACK SHIVELY

zshively@vindy.com

Boardman Park hosted its annual haunted hayrides and The Great Pumpkin Crave-Out Contest on the weekend of Oct. 13-15.

The event has become a popular event among families. The park set up a bounce castle, rock wall and hay maze for the weekend.

Recreation Director Karen McCallum said she wanted everyone to “enjoy the spook-tacular season.“

Both McCallum and Boardman Park Executive Director Dan Slagle emphasized the family atmosphere of the events. They made the hayrides scary and Halloween based, but they kept it family-friendly, making sure children of all ages can enjoy it.

The Great Pumpkin Crave-Out Contest ran all weekend. The park provided pumpkins for a small fee based on the weight of the pumpkin. Then, families carved pumpkins together at one of the tables nearby. The finished pumpkins went on display on bleachers near the park’s playground.

The park gave away prizes to the best pumpkins in each age group. The groups were separated into pre-school, kindergarten to fourth grade, fifth to eighth grade and ninth grade to adult.

The Friday night event also had entertainment from Joe Sullivan, who dressed as Old MacDonald. Sullivan, also known as Jocko the Clown, has been at every The Great Pumpkin Crave-Out Contest and joins the park regularly more than 20 times a year. He chatted with families and made balloon animals throughout the night.

The haunted hayride travels around the paved pathways of the park’s trails in the woods. The hayride had more than 20 different stations throughout the small ride, including aliens, pirates and friendly monsters.

The event had help from Mahoning County’s 4H club and the Key Club and PANDA Leaders club at Boardman Schools. Mix 98.9 sponsored the event and played music at their stand throughout the night.

The event has run for more than 20 years. Slagle said the event has grown much larger since its inception.

The Great Pumpkin Crave-Out Contest ran just the weekend of the 13-15, but the hayrides ran that weekend and the last two weekends in October as well.

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