As is customary, a wide variety of activities were undertaken to make the Pumpkin Caper a memorable community event.
Vigilant attention to forecast bad weather the original day of the affair led us to postpone its celebration for a few days. The heavy turnout at the rescheduled event supports the notion that the word got out in time. The Historical Society uses eight channels to reach the public with news of upcoming events. These are:
BHPL library book check-out inserts
Printed flyers at the HCHS desk in the BHPL library lobby
BHPL library card catalog PC screensaver
Online calendar (from google)
Website published flyers/ PRs
Website flyers/ PRs faxed to newspapers and radio stations
Telephone answering machine outgoing message
Traffic light intersection marquee sign
New this year was organized Trick-or-Tricking, whereby many local businesses in Buchanan were approached in advance about their receptivity to this custom. These firms were listed in the flyer and were also provided with posters they could put on on their storefronts.
At last year's Pumpkin Caper, crowding and confusion made the Halloween costume contest unpleasant and disorderly. To address these problems, this year the contest was moved from the upstairs courtroom into the north parking lot and a $2 entry fee was charged. 42 entrants participated in the contest.
The Society sold $413 of food this year. The crowd also had the opportunity to purchase sit-down meals at the two restaurants now open on the square. 411 bags of candy were also prepared for enjoyment by youngsters. Pumpkins decorated by local schoolchildren is the cardinal feature of the annual Pumpkin Caper. It is likely over 100 pumpkins in all decorated the Historic Courthouse through the night after the festival, illuminated by the beautiful old historic street lamps, lit specially for the occasion.
This year much better management of pumpkin disposal was undertaken than previously. Carved pumpkins were picked up by a worm farmer, sparing the city the need to accomodate them as trash. Uncarved pumpkins were stripped of their superficial decorations and donated to a local free food bank hosted at the End Time Warriors for Christ on nearby Carrollton Street (tel. 770-646-3845). 45 intact pumpkins, weighing 270 pounds in total were donated, a retail value well in excess of $100. 30 copies of instructions on pumpkin food preparation accompanied the donation.
This year a new custom to remember Society and community members and friends we have lost during the last year was initiated. A wreath in their memory will hang in the entrance atrium of the Historic Courthouse between now and Christmas to remind us of our times with them. (See photos below.)
"...this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status."