Mercer Island’s annual Pumpkin Walk is set for Oct. 21. Photo courtesy of Matthew Staver

Volunteers needed for Mercer Island’s 2nd annual Pumpkin Walk

Several Islanders are hard at work planning for the second annual Mercer Island Pumpkin Walk, set for 5-8 p.m. on Oct. 21. On that evening, the northwest perimeter trail of Pioneer Park will be glowing with a display of carved pumpkins for all ages to enjoy.

The start time was bumped up this year, said organizer Amanda Colburn.

“We thought this would be a great way for families with younger kids and early bedtimes to still be able to experience the walk,” she said. “This first hour of the walk will be done in the daylight since the sun goes down around 6 p.m.”

The other organizers are Kau’ilani Robinson and Lindsey Holt, along with all of their families.

“Last year we were blown away by the amazing attendance we had at our inaugural event,” Colburn said. “We’re looking forward to seeing how many of our friends and neighbors will join us this year.”

Last year’s event saw more than 100 carved pumpkins dropped off from volunteers all over the Island. To encourage even more participation, the Pumpkin Walk planners will now be collecting pumpkins on the corner of Southeast 68th Street and 84th Avenue Southeast during extended hours, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Colburn issued a call for volunteers, noting that carved pumpkins are needed to make the event a success.

“If we can reach our target goal of 500 carved pumpkins, we’ll be able to line the entire NW Perimeter Trail, which would help encourage a one way direction for the walk and better viewing for all,” she said.

If people who donate pumpkins want to retrieve them at the end of the night, they should write their name on the back. Sharpies will be available at the drop off site. Pumpkins left behind will be taken home by volunteers and composted.

The organizers will provide battery operated votives for each pumpkin. This year, they are strongly discouraging the use of head lamps and flashlights, as “bright lights can be a bit blinding and disorienting when your eyes have adjusted to the dim light,” Colburn said. The trail will be lit with enough pumpkins and luminaries to easily navigate the trail.

More information can be found at www.facebook.com/MIPumpkinWalk.

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