The inaugural Jack-O’-Lantern Festival, held on a cool and breezy night at the Land O’ Lakes Recreation Complex, attracted hundreds of children, parents and adults dressed in all sorts of creative costumes.
The Oct. 21 event featured candy, bounce houses and scores of jack-o’-lanterns.
The event was hosted by the Pasco County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources department.
And, it was the idea of Lindsay Janssen, a recreation leader. She said her hometown in Connecticut had a similar event, so she wanted to get one started in Pasco County.
Several local vendors had small booths that passed out candy to children in costumes, as festival-workers collected about a dozen jack-o’-lanterns that were entered in the carving contest. They also rounded up those willing to compete in the costume contest.
The family of Mike, Michelle, Adalynn and Hasel Barthel won first prize in the costume contest thanks to their Game of Thrones-themed family costumes. They were awarded passes to the Great Explorations Children’s Museum in St. Petersburg.
The Del Valle family — Pablo, Lene and Riley — won the pumpkin-carving contest and received tickets to Busch Gardens.
“I was glad we were able to do something different here in Pasco and something for Halloween,” Janssen said of the event. “We had a great turnout and a great time, and we hope we can make it a yearly event.”
Published October 26, 2022