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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Pumpkins on Parade at The Gardens on Spring Creek

Collegian | Julia Percy
Grant Smith carves a pumpkin live for families and Fort Collins community members Oct. 19. The Gardens on Spring Creek hosted their fourth annual pumpkin parade with games, pumpkin displays and a community-carved pumpkin contest.

The Gardens on Spring Creek held their fourth Pumpkins on Parade event Oct. 19-22, continuing their annual Halloween tradition. This year’s Pumpkins on Parade was themed “Mythical and Magical Garden Creatures,” and the event welcomed families and friends to engage in some seasonal fun.

Pumpkins on Parade hosted several Halloween-themed games, with the witch hat toss and pumpkin bowling being two of the most popular. Although Pumpkins on Parade was candy-free, the gardens participated in the Teal Pumpkin Project, a food allergy awareness organization, and winners of the games were still rewarded with fun prizes. 


The Teal Pumpkin Project is an initiative by Food Allergy Research & Education to make trick-or-treating safer and more inclusive for those with food allergies by providing alternative treats. To participate, one has to mark their house on FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project Map to signify that their home has nonfood treat options for kids during Halloween. 

Pumpkins on Parade featured captivating visuals, such as light arrangements of orange, green and purple, along with art made from carved pumpkins skillfully arranged into the shapes of different mythical creatures.

“I really liked the unicorn and dragon pumpkin displays,” said Meredith Burke, a Fort Collins local. “I’ve never seen pumpkins used that way, so that was really cool. I think everybody should check it out.”

This sentiment was shared by many who attended the event, as walkways were blocked with families stopping to admire the exhibits. 

The event also featured the winning piece from the Pumpkins on Parade pumpkin carving contest. Winner Grant Smith carved a spectacular depiction of a gnome into a 220-pound Atlantic giant pumpkin grown by Fort Collins second-grader Ben Thayer.

Several performers showcased their talents at Pumpkins on Parade, rotating on different nights of the event. They added significantly to the magical atmosphere through their hard work and the joy they displayed in their contributions.

“It’s great,” said Tori Beardsley, a performer at the event. “Seeing all the kids in their costumes is probably the best part.”

Beardsley played the part of a hula-hooping LED fairy, capturing attention and mesmerizing looks from many of the younger kids. Beardsley was hired by The Gardens on Spring Creek through her work for Spectra Circus Entertainment, a Fort Collins circus group.

Tim Pendergast, professionally known as Tim Foolery, is a long-standing magician for fall events at The Gardens at Spring Creek. Show after show, Pendergast gathered full attentive audiences for every performance. 


“I love this,” Pendergast said. “I’ve been here about 20 years for these Halloween events, and they’ve not all been pumpkin. Pumpkins on Parade — I love this event. Everybody’s great, and we have a really good time here, so I look forward to it every year.”

Pumpkins on Parade was successful as an entertaining event for young children and their parents, demonstrating the type of Halloween fun that can be enjoyed without candy.

“It wouldn’t be fall for me if I weren’t doing something here,” Pendergast said.

Reach Sarah Goetz at or on Twitter @CSUCollegian.

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