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Pumpkin Days returns to Pahrump next weekend

Fall is in the air and for the town of Pahrump, that means it’s almost time for Pumpkin Days.

With COVID-19 putting a pinch on community events in 2020, last year was the first since Pumpkin Days started that PDOP was unable to hold the event. Like other organizations, Pahrump Disability Outreach Program President David Boruchowitz said the pandemic obviously took a toll but the group was fortunately able to emerge from that challenging time fairly unscathed.

“We’ve worked hard to manage our way through the pandemic and have been successful in staying afloat to be able to be here for, finally, 2021 to be able to hold our event,” Boruchowitz told the Pahrump Valley Times.

A yearly fundraising event hosted by PDOP, the 12th Annual Pumpkin Days is set to take place next weekend at Ian Deutch Memorial Park and event organizers are eagerly anticipating the event’s return, which will not only provide the opportunity for PDOP to generate some much-needed cash to support its activities but will also give area families a chance to head out and enjoy a fabulous festival to celebrate the Halloween season. “We are grateful that the weather hit this week and not next. It’s supposed to be beautiful, looking at the weather forecast,” Boruchowitz said of the coming community gathering. “We’ll have our normal hay pyramid and hay maze, along with hay rides, we’ll have the PDOP train there, a petting zoo and of course, we’ll have the haunted house there again too. And new this year, we are adding the mechanical bull-riding that was at Fall Festival, so he will be there all weekend and will be offering bull rides, which, as with the other activities, attendees get free of charge with admission.”

Another new feature of Pumpkin Days will be the “Punkin Chunkin” contest in which attendees are invited to build a contraption intended to launch a pumpkin. There will be three divisions in this contest, including adults 18 years and older, youth ages 11 to 17 years and child for those 10 years and younger. “Punkin chunkers have a wide choice of options for their mechanism to streak the skies with pumpkin,” PDOP’s website details. “Each type is based on force, power and torque and it’s up to the participant how they will do it.”

The website provides an overview of the various kinds of apparatuses that can be used in the chunkin competition, along with complete contest rules and a registration form for those who plan to participate. Registration for this contest is $10, which also gets the participant free admission to the event on Saturday, Oct. 23, the day the pumpkins, which will be provided by PDOP, will be launched through the air. “Whoever flings their pumpkin the farthest wins a prize!” Boruchowitz enthused.

Of course, the traditional pumpkin patch will also be set up in the park for the weekend and this portion of the event is the real money-maker for the fundraiser. There will be a wide array of bright orange gourds for patrons to choose from, ranging from very little to very big. Pumpkins from the patch will be quite affordable as well, with small pumpkins priced at $3 apiece, medium ones selling for $6 and large pumpkins costing just $9 each.

The pumpkin carving contest will be taking place once again this year, as well, and Boruchowitz said he is sure this will be just as entertaining as it was in 2019. That contest will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Saturday of the event, with the winners to be selected at 5 p.m. The only cost for this is the price participants pay to purchase their pumpkin of choice.

Saturday will include the Monster Dash, too, which Boruchowitz said has steadily grown since its inception roughly 11 years ago. This is a 5k run and one-mile family fun walk, with dressed-up patrons vying for the chance to take home the title of best costume. There will be fun door prizes given away at the end of the Monster Dash and all those who take part get free admission to Pumpkin Days on the day of the dash.

Advance registration for the Monster Dash costs $10 per student, $20 per individual, $35 for any two people or $70 for an entire family. Same-day registration will be available but the price does go up to $15 per student, $25 per individual, $40 per couple or $75 per family. Same-day registration will start at 7 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 23 with the dash slated for 8 a.m.

As if all this isn’t enough to tempt residents down to the park next weekend, there will also be plenty of delicious foods for sale, along with free face painting, fall photo opportunities, a kids’ costume parade and even the second annual spaghetti eating contest, sponsored by Carmelo’s Bistro, which costs $10 per person to enter. It’s all set to take place on Friday, Oct. 22 from 3 to 9 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 23 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 24 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Ian Deutch Memorial Park.

General admission is $5 per person for one day or $10 per person for all three days. For more information visit www.PahrumpDisabilityOutreachProgram.com

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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