Pumpkin Carving Carnival livens up Halloween

Kimberly Konwinski

Austin Parks and Recreation’s annual Pumpkin Carving Carnival at Parque Zaragoza Recreation Center will be held on Saturday.

The Pumpkin Carving Carnival started in 1997 and is part of Austin Parks and Recreation’s efforts to promote family and community participation and park awareness. In the spirit of Halloween and its festivities, the Pumpkin Carving Carnival features pumpkin decorating and carving, carnival attractions, like a bean bag toss and games stands with prizes, and an on-site haunted house.

“One pumpkin is given per family to take home and decorate, which promotes togetherness and gives them the opportunity to celebrate the holiday season both at the park and at home. Since the event is placed outside in the park, there are several activities and games that promote recreation and leisure education to do together as a family, including relays and carnival games,” said Claudia Rocha, site supervisor of Parque Zaragoza.

Face painting by carnival volunteers is also available with designs to accommodate anyone’s Halloween imagination.

A free pumpkin is given away to every family or person to carve, decorate and take home. The park will supply carving tools, paint, glitter and other craft accessories for those who want to design or carve their pumpkin. To complete the mystique and aura of the Halloween tradition, eerie music will be playing over the speakers throughout the day.

Typical carnival foods and drinks such as hot dogs, hamburgers, funnel cakes and fountain drinks will be there to satiate appetites.

Although carnival events last from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., a haunted house not designed for the faint of heart lasts from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and is not recommended for younger ages.

“[The haunted house] definitely isn’t something for younger children. This is something more for adolescents and college kids,” Rocha said.