VISTA — As the temperature has finally started to dwindle from its highs of summer, images of the harvest have started to pop up everywhere. Oktoberfest festivals come and go and pumpkins are being sold on every street corner. On Oct. 10, Alta Vista Gardens embraced the oncoming season with its Fall Fun Festival.
Located in the developing children’s garden, the park hosted a variety of games for local children to promote involvement with the garden and develop an overarching understanding of planting, harvest and nature in general.
In one corner of the gardens was a teepee, and inside a volunteer with the Alta Vista Gardens led children through arts and crafts inside. Painting pumpkins was another popular draw for the children. The completed gourds were placed one by one around the flagpole in the center of the garden throughout the day, until a colorful lineup of orange and Crayola stained faces stared out at everyone.
While the park’s purpose is to educate, the event was centered on a scarecrow contest. Stuffed “bodies” lined up against the fence; dozens of them grinning and watching the day’s events until the final judging.
A scarecrow costume race was held, in which different teams lined up with one scarecrow costume apiece. The first team members would put it on, run a relay, and then come back, take it off and pass it to the next team member. There was also a pumpkin-broom race, in which teams pushed round pumpkins up and down the field until all of their teammates had gone back and forth.
Back at the flagpole, event coordinator Nancy Jones announced that Taylor Lavazza won the best single scarecrow award, and the Clarkson family, including Nilda, Peter, Nathan and Hayden, won for the best group scarecrow.