Creating cherished memories at the Hayden Harvest Festival | CraigDailyPress.com

Creating cherished memories at the Hayden Harvest Festival

Audrey Dwyer

— As Monica Case was growing up, she remembers attending Halloween festivals, dressing for the occasion in costume, bobbing for apples, snacking on popcorn balls and dancing to the "Monster Mash."

Today, she has recreated the atmosphere she remembers so vividly at the annual Hayden Harvest Festival, an annual event she began five years ago.

The festival will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Case Enterprise Flower and Garden Center, 821 Industrial Ave. With the Hayden Parks and Recreation Board serving as volunteers, the festival has added a pumpkin patch, a straw maze, pumpkin bowling and face painting to the mix of activities for the day. In addition, there will be gourd painting, a balloon pop, cookie decorating and a caramel apple buffet.

"My mom instilled in me to give back to the community; she was my inspiration for my creativity from what she did for us as kids," Case said.

Case is an avid believer that getting kids involved within a community and creating activities for them creates lasting memories that will inspire them to keep traditions alive when they get older.

"I think it's important for kids to be involved in community events that are fun and offer a safe environment, not to mention it will be a complete sugar overload," she said. "It's important for the community to see everyone coming together to make this event happen."

Recommended Stories For You

Prior to this year, Case had been the driving force behind planning the event and coordinating volunteers. A few months ago, she approached the Parks and Recreation Board for a hand in the volunteer portion of the event. Board members will be selling pumpkins, making cookies and overseeing the maze and bowling events.

"In Hayden we don't have anything like this," said Jill Delay, recreation coordinator for the town of Hayden. "It gives the community something of its own where they can stay close to home."

Case has maintained a strong vision for the event each year coming up with new ideas and buying things that are needed out of her own pocket.

"It's amazing how much it's changed from just a small little event to having a surprisingly large turnout last year," said Bonnie Girton, who has helped Case with planning and preparations for the event. "It is branching out into all communities within the area, which is neat and provides something fun for families to look forward to."

The festival also will feature four local vendors who have agreed to donate 10 percent of all sales to Totally Kids, a summer camp and after-school program in town. Pumpkins will also be available for $3 apiece.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@ExploreSteamboat.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

If you go

What: Hayden Harvest Festival

When: 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday

Where: Case Enterprise Flower and Garden Center, 821 Industrial Ave.