Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

October 2, 2013

Punkinpalooza a mild alternative to Living Dead Fest

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat — Though there should be no shortage of flesh eating participants wandering downtown Pauls Valley during the Living Dead Center Festival set for Saturday, Oct. 26, plans are also forming for those who might not quite be old enough to handle the spooky tone.

Leading the way on a more kid friendly fall festival theme, Stephanie Webb will be welcoming families to the first ever Punkinpalooza near the Main Street Pauls Valley office throughout that day.

The idea is to try and cater to those who might find the Halloween holiday not to their liking with plenty of activities that all have something to do with the familiar orange squash.

“We’re trying to not let it get too Halloween-ish, it probably will a little bit,” said Webb, noting how all the activities are also free for those who wish to show up.

“We’re going to keep it kind of small and low cost and see how we do.”

Hosted overall by the Valley Harvest Garden, involvement in the event has actually already started with the pumpkin recipe contest, where people are being asked to e-mail by Monday, Oct. 21 how to make their favorite related dish to Webb. About the only rules is that it has to contain pumpkin in it and the top three entrants chosen have to bring an example of it to be judged the day of the festival, with the hope that a book of all the recipes will be ready as a fundraiser later on.

“You need to really be sure you can cook that,” said Webb. “I found out there’s a whole lot of ways you can use it.”

Webb also pointed out how there will be some similarities with local summer festivals like the addition of a Fields’ sponsored pumpkin pie eating contest and a pumpkin seed spitting contest.

The former is the substitution for there not being a regular pie eating contest at BrickFest with a timed race to eat the most and the latter borrows from July 4th activities where like the watermelon version, the farthest distance has the most accolades.

Other activities kids can soak up include pumpkin bowling, a mini punkin chunkin contest as well as other generic games kids can win prizes. People will be needed to volunteer to run the different booths and donate prizes, which Webb has volunteered to pick up.

In the end, Webb simply wants to offer yet another element of fun for the time of year from the kids who show up to even a local mystery leader in the community who will take a pie in the face through a raffle.

It’s also not too late to suggest a booth or game if someone wishes to volunteer to help make it happen.

“It’s for the kids too and it sounded like something I’d have a lot of fun doing,” said Webb. “We’ll have a fun place for them to go…we’re going to have lots of fun.”

For any questions about how one can be involved or to submit a recipe, Webb can be reached by e-mail at or through the Harvest Garden Facebook page,