West Jeff plans expanded Fall Festival

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Trunk Or Treat is back in West Jefferson this year as part of an expanded Fall Festival set for Oct. 23 at the Community Center. Pictured here is the Holden family who won first place last year for their spooky Trunk Or Treat display: (from left) Billy, Kira, Mina, Lila, and Jama.

(Posted Sept. 21, 2021)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

A zombie mechanical bull, haunted hayrides, and a pumpkin carving contest–and that’s only the half of it. The village of West Jefferson is going all out with a fall festival scheduled for 6-9 p.m. Oct. 23 at the Community Center, 230 Cemetery Rd.

“There’s always been Trunk Or Treat. We added the bonfire last year. This year, we’re really expanding things,” said Shelton Stanley, West Jefferson’s special events and recreation manager.

Among the new features are a haunted house inside the community center and haunted hayrides. Both are geared for children ages 12 and older unless accompanied by an adult. Stanley is looking for volunteers to “scare people” who participate in these activities. Those interested need only provide their own costume; a face painter will be on hand to do makeup. The festival also will offer a tamer hayride for younger children.

A pumpkin carving contest and demonstrations by a professional pumpkin carver also are new to the event. For the contest, entrants will bring their own pumpkins, and the public will choose the winners. The professional carver likely will carve three creations on site.

A D.J. will spin tunes, and all ages are invited to take a turn on the zombie mechanical bull. Mayor Ray Martin will cook up hotdogs near the bonfire where visitors can make s’mores and enjoy chips and drinks.

Stanley already has 26 volunteers lined up to hand out candy during the Trunk Or Treat portion of the evening, which runs from 6 to 8 p.m. He has room for 10 more. Participants are asked to park their cars at the community center for the two-hour event and supply candy for youngsters who go from car to car, filling their bags and buckets with treats. Participants are encouraged to decorate their trunks, though it is not required. A group of four judges will award prizes to the owners of the trunks they deem to be the best decorated.

Due to COVID-19, Trunk Or Treat was one of the few public events that took place in West Jefferson last year. Stanley said he is excited to return to offering events for the community to enjoy, expanding on old ones and adding new ones.

“I’m looking to grow each event that we have each year. I’m already looking at next year and trying to expand on what we’ve already done. I like to give people new things,” he said.

Stanley has served as West Jefferson’s full-time special events and recreation manager since the start of this year.

“I am thankful for the opportunities that Mayor Ray Martin, public service Director John Mitchell, and council give me and the community,” he said.

Anyone who would like to set up their car for Trunk Or Treat or volunteer as an actor for the haunted house and hayrides at the Fall Festival can contact Shelton Stanley at sstanley@westjeffersonohio.org or (614) 307-6543.

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