The Oakland Nature Preserve is planning some pre-Halloween fun with its upcoming new hike — called the "The Pumpkin Glow" — that will take place Saturday, Oct. 24.
From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. visitors will be able to traverse a winding wooded trail of decorated and hand-carved jack-o'-lanterns — which will be voted on by visitors throughout the night — designed by members of the community, and children and parents are encouraged to wear family-friendly costumes and bring a flashlight or lantern for the walk. Children will also receive a candy bag and will get the chance to meet some of the Preserve's program animals.
Each jack-o'-lantern contest participant is asked to carve their pumpkin and use a battery powered light instead of a candle, and pumpkins will need to be picked up the following day — though any left behind pumpkins will be shared with the Preserve's program animals. Participants will also receive a Pumpkin Glow certificate and large ONP sticker, while awards for each carved jack-o’-lantern group will vary by age group.
Lastly, any donations made to attend The Pumpkin Glow will benefit the Preserve — going toward its mission to "promote an understanding of the fragile balance between mankind and the environment by educating visitors about Lake Apopka basin’s ecosystems and cultural history, and by restoring and conserving the lands within the Preserve."
For more information on the event, or to register for the jack-o'-lantern contest, go to https://bit.ly/2S7vaXO.