What used to be an event put on by campers at Tippecanoe River State Park, has become an official park event. Tippecanoe River State Park held its 12th annual Halloween festivities event which took place on Saturday, October 29 in Winamac, Indiana.
The event featured crafts, games, costume contests, trick-or-treating at the campgrounds, and a Monster egg hunt, which took place for the first time.
Angel Okray, assistant manager of Tippecanoe River State Park, hopes that events such as this one encourages more people to visit the park.
“It might be that they don’t visit regularly, but when they come out for this event, they see how great our park is,” Okray said.
“Hopefully they’ll want to come out more often.”
Okray mentioned that plans are in the works for adding activities to this Halloween event to attract more guests.
“I really hope it keeps growing,” Okray said. “Next year, we’re looking at different things that we can add to expand and bring more people out.”
Ellen Boardman, seasonal naturalist at Tippecanoe River State Park, has been with the park for seven years. Boardman opens up about what makes the park special.
“The Tippecanoe River State Park offers history,” Boardman said. “It offers hiking; We have one of the top 10 most biodiverse rivers in the entire United States that runs our Eastern border. It’s a beautiful, healthy park. It’s a good place to come, play, and have a good time.”
Boardman elaborated on the activities the park provided to the guests.
“We have four games outside; We had yard bowling, hanging apples, which instead of bobbing for apples, we’re hanging the apples from a string in the tree,” Boardman said. “We also have ‘pluck a duck’, where guests pull a duck out of a bag and win a prize. Finally, we have ‘mummy wrap’, where we use leftover skeins of toilet paper and wrap a parent or a child and take a picture.”
This event provided hours of enjoyment for its visitors. All of the activities were separated by age groups, which made them age-appropriate, so everybody can participate in the fun. Boardman gave an example of the age-appropriate crafts that were being offered to the guests.
“In the nature center, we had nine crafts for five dollars,” Boardman said. “They range from simple, easy crafts, to a little more difficult Oriental Trading crafts, and then a little more complex toilet paper tube craft. There’s something there for everybody from the age of about three, when you’re beginning to get decent motor skills, all the way up to about 11 years old.”
Boardman even noted that depending on the weather, the Halloween event could see up to 2,000 visitors or more. Once all of the activities concluded, the guests were invited to go to the campgrounds and participate in a self-tour; This is where the children would partake in trick-or-treating and viewing some spooky decorations.
“The campers bring out some elaborate decorations,” Boardman said. “Some of the campers get here around two weeks prior to the event. People can actually come out and start seeing decorations as early as two weeks ago.”
Amy Miller, a resident of Winamac, Indiana, is one of the many campers participating in the Halloween festivities.
“We’re having trick-or-treating at the campground,” Miller said. “We’ve decorated our campsite and all of these people come out and enjoy the decorations, and candy, and just have a fun time.”
Miller and her family have been decorating their camper for five years now. Miller hopes the visitors enjoy all that the campers have to offer.
“The last two years were slower because of COVID,” Miller said. “I think now that everything's back to normal, it’s good to see all of the people come out. It’s definitely something to check out. I just hope they have fun; It’s nice to see everyone dressed up and see how people decorate their campers and just have a good time.”
Boardman expresses her excitement for the event and encourages people to visit Tippecanoe River State Park as well as the Halloween Festivities event.
“This is a great place to come out and do safe trick-or-treating,” Boardman said. “All of our campers are good, wholesome people with good wholesome values. Come out and see us, we’re here to have a great time.”
For more information about Tippecanoe River State Park, visit Tippecanoe River State Park | Winamac IN | Facebook