(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The Pony Express Museum is hosting their 25th annual Pumpkinfest this weekend.
The museum did not celebrate in-person last year due to the pandemic. Staff members at the museum are happy to see the return of the festival on its' 25th year.
“It’s kind of a special time," said Pony Express Museum Executive Director Cindy Daffron.
Daffron and volunteers have been working all week at Callison Hall to prepare for the weekend's events.
“This is where Kathy Baner almost 25 years ago said, ‘let’s build a mountain, we’ll put pumpkins on it, that’s how we’ll raise money.’” Daffron said during a volunteer session.
Whistle Creek Farms donates extra large pumpkins for the weekend. Volunteers at the museum carving and creating local businesses logos on 125 pumpkins. Area schools also designing 800 pumpkins to contribute to the pumpkin mountain.
“I usually volunteer at the school house–I’m one of the schoolmarms. This is the first time I’ve done pumpkin carving," said Kay Dunlap. “It’s just fun to make those different designs on the pumpkins like you see. And then you come down to the pumpkinfest and get to see them all lit up with the lights.”
Nearly 1,000 pumpkins will light up the night on the pumpkin mountain at the Pony Express Museum. The lighting ceremony will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday night.
“So on both sides we’ll set some straw and hay bales and then you'll look straight ahead," Daffron explained. "And straight ahead is the scaffolding that was just put up by the Buchanan County Commissioners, helping us get that done."
Daffron said before they can light up the mountain, more volunteers are needed to get the job done.
"If you can carve, we're still looking for carvers through the morning time from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. We're pretty well got the carvers for the evening from 4 to 7:30 p.m., but, we've gotta get them ready because see, we gotta drill a hole in the back and then get ready and then they gotta sit in their 18 inches on the planks. They gotta 'walk the plank' we call it."
The weekend's events begin at 5 p.m. on Friday, October 8. Details about the weekend can be found here.