Children enjoy fall festivities Saturday |

Children enjoy fall festivities Saturday

Nicole Inglis
Kayden Grinolds, 2, picks out a free pumpkin on Ranney Street on Saturday morning. Craig resident and businessman Red Cortner brought more than 700 pumpkins into Craig to give away to local youths to decorate for Halloween.
Shawn McHugh

Gwen Doizaki knew immediately when she saw it.

“It’s big enough to carve a face,” she said about the new, giant pumpkin she could barely hold in her arms. “And look, it has the right size stem. And it’s the perfect size for where I’m going to put it outside on my grandma’s porch.”

On Saturday, outside Homemaker Furnishings on Ranney Street where owner Red Cortner was giving away pumpkins, Doizaki was one of the few children who found it easy to choose the right one.

“Sometimes they pick up four or five or six,” Cortner said. “Then they change their minds again.”

Cortner, a Craig resident and businessman, trucked about 700 pumpkins from his farm near Pueblo to Craig and gave them away starting early Saturday morning.

By noon, all but a few were gone.

He also gave a crate of 100 pumpkins to a friend in Baggs, Wyo., and several hundred more in Meeker to hand out.

“I’m thinking bigger,” he said. “All kids got to have something free.”

Later in the day, many families drove out to the Wyman Museum for Wyman’s Pumpkin Patch, a fall-themed family festival featuring several activities.

Pumpkin painting, train rides, hay maze and scarecrow making all were free, while participants could purchase pumpkins and lunch.

In the pumpkin patch at Wyman, 4-year-old Eowyn Phelps had brought her own pumpkin to her grandmother, Vynette Wilber.

“I think this is such a good idea,” Wilber said. “The kids are just really excited to pick out their own pumpkins. They love Halloween, they love dressing up.”

Once Eowyn had found her pumpkin, 2-year-old Lily wanted to outdo her.

“Mine,” she said, pointing at the biggest one she could find.

Then she tried to pick it up.

“Heavy,” she said.

“Yes,” Wilber said. “You better wait for Papa to come help you.”

Eowyn then made right for the pumpkin-painting table.

This year was the first Wyman Museum has put on the event, but office manager Nicky Boulger said if it’s successful enough, the museum will do it again next year.

“Just look at everybody,” she said. “They’re having a blast. It’s a nice fall day and you’ve got to get out and do something.”

Julie Hanna, of Craig, took her grandchildren to the event, where they made scarecrows.

The scarecrows were supposed to be placed around downtown Craig as Halloween decorations, but Hanna said her group became emotionally attached to theirs.

She asked Boulger if she could make a donation to the museum to take theirs home.

However, when they carried it back to the car, it broke into three pieces, leaving a trail of hay to the car.

Still, the children’s spirits were high.

“We have the technology, we can rebuild him,” Hanna joked.

She said the day was all about the kids, and Boulger and Cortner both agreed.

“It keeps you young,” Cortner said as the last few families stopped by to sort through the handful of remaining pumpkins. “Just imagine how many happy families and kids are out there today.”

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