Pumpkin catapulting, carving and seed guessing are just a few of the activities for visitors to Newton Hills State Park. The 13th Annual FestiFall runs from 1-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6.

The popular FestiFall event is attended annually by people of all ages. The event features many family activities including arts and crafts, kids’ games and bluegrass music. Kids of all ages can participate in “make and take” craft activities such as old fashion rope, wooden necklaces, tin punching, trick or treat bags, etc.

The Ensz & Beachler families will have their parrots on display, the Thompson family will be demonstrating Dutch oven cooking and Marty Davidson will be demonstrating old-fashion spinning.

The afternoon has become a popular arts and craft show, hosting over 30 craft vendors displaying unique crafts, home decor and many other gift ideas. Food vendors will have food & drink available throughout the afternoon.

As in year’s past, the pumpkin will take center stage with pumpkin carving demonstrations, decorated pumpkin contests and pumpkin catapulting with help from the group Society of Creative Anachronism. Visitors are encouraged to bring in their own decorated or carved pumpkins for judging. Your carved pumpkins may also be brought in to be used on the Candlelight Walk.

Following the afternoon FestiFall celebration, the Candlelight Walk will lead visitors along 2.2 miles of candle-lit trail through the deep woods of Newton Hills. The trail will be solely lit by candles and carved pumpkins. Walkers will encounter many surprises along the trail, including musicians, colorful characters from the past, a magician and telescopes to view the evening sky. Walkers may begin the self-led adventure anytime between 7:15 and 8:30 p.m.

Throughout the weekend, campers are encouraged to decorate their campsites with a fall theme. Hay wagon rides will be available Saturday afternoon to take visitors through the campground to view and judge the decorated campsites. Winners of the campsite decorating, pumpkin seed guessing and pumpkin decorating contest will be announced at 4 p.m.

There is no cost to participate in any of the events; however a park entrance license is required.  For additional information, visit www.gfp.sd.gov, call 605-987-2263 or email NewtonHills@state.sd.us.

Logo courtesy South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks

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