Spooktacular steps it up in year four

Things don’t always work out, but when results match the level of effort invested, an event can be special.

Such was the case for the Fourth Annual Spooktacular Halloween Extravaganza on the evening of Oct. 31 to the delight of Amber Wiedeman, Fossil Rim CAC supervisor. It truly was a case of bigger and better after she devoted so much time to planning and setup for the free event.

busy inside CAC

With 18 events for visitors to choose from, the Fourth Annual Spooktacular Halloween Extravaganza had something for everyone at the Overlook Oct. 31.

“I doubled the amount of activities (18) from last year’s event to accommodate the growing amount of guests we had this time,” she said. “So, there was a lot more planning for this one.”

Guests came and went over the course of the Spooktacular, which was spread out in and around the CAC, as well as inside the nearby EcoCenter.

staff pose

With help from Fossil Rim staffers like Molly Shea (left) and Julie Swenson (right), CAC Supervisor Amber Wiedeman (center) hosted a Spooktacular that drew very strong attendance.

“It was tough to estimate the number of people who attended, because they were there at different times in a constant rotation,” Wiedeman said. “It was heavily attended – one of our best ever – and it seemed to flow better with people dispersed in different areas due to the increase in activities. We added watermelon carving to our pumpkin carving, and people seemed to enjoy that.

“We added a bake sale for the first time, and that ended up being a huge success to raise $580.50. When you factor in donations, we raised $740.50 to renovate our main CAC barn and our goat shed.”

The most prominent animals at the CAC, goats continued to impact the Spooktacular experience.

“The event got a lot of good reviews, and I heard a lot about the goat training, which is normally a highlight of the night,” Wiedeman said. “Face painting is always a hit, too. We had awesome prizes donated that I’m sure the kids enjoyed.”

top 3 carvers

These youngsters showed off their carving skills to finish in the top three according to judges’ votes.

I Touched Corn Snake

Inside the EcoCenter, touching a snake was an option with Katie Hunholz handling some of the Fossil Rim program animals.

Immediately after the Spooktacular concluded, the Discovery After Dark Halloween Edition Tour headed out with guests who had registered in advance.

“I know some people attended our event and then went on the tour, and our (Reservation Information Office) department told me this was the largest tour attendance we’ve had after a Spooktacular,” she said.

With an event far too involved for one person to handle, Wiedeman was thankful to have the Fossil Rim family step up.

“Without all of our staff members and volunteers contributing the way they did, the event wouldn’t have worked out,” she said. “So many people donated their time before, during and after. It’s amazing how well Fossil Rim can come together to really make an event take off. It was a really positive outcome and a lot of fun with many of us dressed up in character and interacting with our visitors.”

The father of one family, from which the son placed during the pumpkin/watermelon carving contest, mentioned that his crew makes the 230-mile roundtrip from McKinney each year just to experience the Spooktacular.

“I like to hear that people will travel from that far away to attend this event,” Wiedeman said. “I try to make sure the word gets out, and it’s great to have repeat guests make the journey out here.”

-Tye Chandler, Marketing Associate

 Angela candy corn guess winner carved pumpkins Color Station Donation Machine Face Painting Ghost Dart Ball Hello Mr Emu Hello Mr Goat Jumbo Matching Game Justin shows bake treats Monster Stack Mummy Bowling My Tall Buddy Name That Item Name That Item 2 Pin Tail On Scaredy Cat pinata 1 pinata 2 pinata 3 pinata 5 pinata 6 pinata 7 pinata 8 pinata 9 pinata 10 pinata 11 pinata breaks Pumpkin bean bag toss Pumpkin Face Table ring toss ring toss 2 Sara son and dad Tin Man watermelon carver

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