STEUBEN COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) — From pumpkin trails to trick-or-treating and scavenger hunts, Pokagon State Park is gearing up for a multitude of events this weekend for its annual “Halloween Happenings” events.

Tammy Sawvel, office manager at Pokagon State Park, said this year will be the first time “Halloween Happenings” will be back to normal since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s really kind of nice because during COVID, [we] obviously we had to take away some of the features … [but] we have reinstituted all of that so that everybody can come out and participate” Sawvel said.

Sawvel, who has worked at Pokagon State Park since 2006, said the Halloween festivities at the park have changed a lot during her time there.

At first, Sawvel said the campers handled trick-or-treating at the park themselves until around 2013 when park officials decided to add official events for Halloween.

“We decided that we would go bigger [and] we would start involving the community in the trick-or-treating and we would involve all the campgrounds and make it a bigger thing, so at that point in time, we all got together and pitched in some ideas,” Sawvel said.

Halloween decorations at Pokagon State Park

This year, over 1,000 kids are expected to come to Pokagon State Park for its Halloween events.

“We do expect that we will have quite a crowd this weekend because the weather is supposed to be nice,” Sawvel said.

Here is a full list of Halloween events planned at Pokagon State Park:

Friday, Oct. 27

  • 7:00 p.m. – night hike that takes guests to Hell’s Point, the highest point at Pokagon State Park

Saturday, Oct. 28

  • 10:00 a.m. – pumpkin carving contest
  • 1:00 p.m. – live bird program featuring Soarin’ Hawk Raptor Rehabilitation Center
  • 3:00 p.m. – puppet show
  • 5:00 p.m. – trick-or-treating begins at Campground 3, parking is available at the main beach lot for those not staying at the campground

Sunday, Oct. 29

  • 10:00 a.m. – Halloween-themed scavenger hunt

Guests can also participate in a campsite decorating contest all weekend along with the pumpkin trail, which is a new addition to Halloween Happenings that is available until Oct. 30.

Sawvel said the pumpkin trail had received positive responses so far, and officials hope to add scarecrows and other elements to the trail next year.