Nancy Masterson, Ha Ha Tonka State Park Superintendent, and Susan Buchman recently congratulated the Camdenton Oak Ridge Intermediate fifth and sixth grade students who won a ribbon in the annual Ha Ha Tonka pumpkin-carving contest.
A total of 49 pumpkins were decorated, carved and donated to the park for use during the Ha Ha Haunt Walk, held Oct. 26. People of all ages enjoy the event that has been a fall favorite for more than 20 years. School children have been donating pumpkins since 1998.
"In all these years, the creativity of our young people is amazing. These unique carved and enhanced pumpkins bring a smile to hikers. The jack-o-lanterns light up the trail on Haunt night and are left on the trail for other park visitors to see all weekend," commented Masterson.
The following businesses provided coupons and gift cards so that every child who entered a pumpkin was given a treat: Andy's Frozen Custard, Culvers, Dairy Queen, El Caporal, El Espolan, Fired Up, Panara Bread, PaPa John's, Pop-A-Wheelies Pizza, Sonic, Subway, and Wal-Mart. Ribbon winners received t-shirts and Audubon birds provided by Ha Ha Tonka State Park.
The Friday night event at Ha Ha Tonka drew a crowd of more than 1,000 people who were treated to many imaginative designs.
"We are so appreciative of the children who donate their pumpkin and the local businesses that support this community event," said Masterson.