(ST. JOSEPH, Mo) Many were out and about this weekend enjoying the annual Pony Express Pumpkin Festival at Patee Park. In its 22nd year, the event has now been a community staple for generation according to organizers.
"We just wanted to get out and have some fun, we’ve been coming here for years so we just wanted to come out and have a good time, enjoy the weather," Shelby Robinson, a local mom with her husband and two kids, said.
The family friendly event draws kids of all ages out the park.
"There’s a lot for them to do, so its better than being stuck in the house..,” Dansare Marks, a mom with her husband and two young children, said.
Those behind the festival say through the years, the tradition has passed down to the next generation.
"..It's become a generational event for bringing [kids] here," Cindy Daffron, Executive Director Pony Express Museum, said.
Though the older generation may have grown up, at least some of them admitted to being kids at heart.
"We love coming out here and having fun, playing arcade games," Robinson said.
There was plenty for families to see and do at the festival, with several vendors taking part in the festival offering all of the carnival staples. Food, arcade games, and lots of entertainment options to enjoy, but the main attraction is the crowd favorite Pumpkin Mountain. The collection of hand carved pumpkins is a photo-op destination by day, but by night, the entire collection lights up the night sky.
"We are the only Pumpkin Mountain in the country that is electrically lit, and it's been fantastic all these years," Carlene Makawski, Treasurer, said.
Businesses across St. Joseph, along with students in the St. Joseph School District, took part in this tradition created by the community, for the community. The festival however, is not all about lit pumpkins, it’s about spending valuable time with loved ones.
"Getting outside the house with the kids, having a good time," Ledorian Robinson, Shelby's husband, said.
"Those are memories you’ll keep forever," Daffron said.
The festival continues Sunday until 5pm.