Bath Pumpkin Promenade, a community effort

The weekend before Halloween has its own annual tradition in Bath County now, and that’s the Pumpkin Promenade..   This year Bath County Parks and Recreation, led by Mark Nelson and Zachary Madison , teamed up with Valley Elementary School’s Parent Teacher Organization, Relay for Life’s Margery Hevener , her helpers, and Bath Library’s Sharon Lindsay and Ronda Clayton. Together this 4-way partnership brought a mini festival to the parking lot near the picnic shelter on a cool October morning.

There were several fair-type games, many baked goods the PTO was selling, and a few vendors of other items. The library’s contribution was The Little Critters Travelling Petting Zoo. Children and parents rubbed the belly of a very happy pot-bellied pig, and there were also a couple of sheep, a mini goat, several rabbits, an exotic chicken and a couple of ponies and a donkey.   The friendly creatures, except maybe the slightly indifferent donkey, accepted all the adoring attention and gentle pats coming their way.

But the main attraction was the pumpkins, over two hundred of them on two trailers. Any one wanting to decorate could step right up, and pick a pumpkin.

Ethan is seven, and his sister BriAnna is nine. They both carved pumpkins at the Promenade.

“It was awesome because you can get these designs that you like. And I got this bat design and it’s really cool. I put the bat design on the pumpkin with these two little things, and then I carved it out with a knife.”

“Great, did you end up liking the way it looks?”

“Yeah, I liked it because you could properly see the bat.”

“Do you think you’ll put a candle in it on Halloween Night on your front porch?


“Brianna what about you? What did you make your pumpkin look like?”

“I made my pumpkin an owl, and I think it looks really good.”

“Do you think you’re going to put a candle in it?”

“Yeah, I think I’m gonna have to like take off the lid, and put it down in it. He carved the bottom of it. I did the top so . . . “

One of the youngest children I spoke to chose a Disney Princess design for her pumpkin. Aiden is four years old.

“Who is this on your pumpkin, Aiden?”

“Princess Jasmine,”

“So you have a Jasmine pumpkin, that’s pretty special huh?”

“And a genie turned Alladin into a Prince Ali.” For those of you not in the know, a genie turned Alladin into Prince Ali.

One of the great things about talking to Aiden was being reminded of the importance of countdowns to holidays. She explained with no hesitation,

“Last week it was 16 before Halloween, and then it was 12 days before Halloween, and there were ten days before Halloween, and now it’s time for Halloween..”

Haven and Angel, both students at Valley Elementary School had finished their handiwork. When I asked how she had painted her pumpkin, Angel said,

“I wrote my name Angel. And then I’m going to write BOO with a scary face as BOO.

Haven said she is going to be a Zombie bride for Halloween, and Angel also said,

“Ummm, I am gonna be an eighties pop star.”

Something tells me this young lady is a fan of Allegheny Mountain Radio’s “Big Hair Hits” with Jason Rowe. Before the whole festive morning drew to close, children lined up to take swings at a pinata.  The careful adults overseeing this event had to step in at least once when a regular baseball player was swinging the bat blindfolded.

(Sounds of the piñata.)

For regular Bath County Parks and Recreation Events, stay tuned to Allegheny Mountain Radio.


Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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