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Colouring contest replaces Olds Pumpkin Patch party

The party, normally held around Halloween, was cancelled due to COVID restrictions
MVT Haloween pumpkins 1
Participants are urged to pick up a picture and receive a treat at the First Baptist Church at the corner of 50th Street and 53rd Avenue during the week of Oct. 24 and return it there the morning of Oct. 31. Metro

OLDS — For the second year in a row, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the First Baptist Church to cancel its annual Pumpkin Patch Halloween party.

Instead, the church is running a 2021 colouring contest.

Participants are urged to pick up a picture and receive a treat at the First Baptist Church at the corner of 50th Street and 53rd Avenue during the week of Oct. 24 and return it there the morning of Oct. 31.

Two prizes will be awarded in each of three age groups: preschool (ages 0 to 5), Kindergarten to Grade 2, and Grades 3 to 6.

For years, the Pumpkin Patch party has been held at École Deer Meadow School, right around Halloween time.

However, Greg Stirling, pastor of Family and Children’s Ministries at the First Baptist Church, says it was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic. 

Candy bags were given out from the church instead.

This year, it looked like the event could be held once again, as COVID restrictions were eased. But it was cancelled after new restrictions were announced in September.

“We weren’t sure what we were going to do. We just thought, ‘well, let’s just do a colouring contest,’” Stirling said during an interview.

“We’re putting something together, just to keep something going. And then hopefully next year we can run Pumpkin Patch like we’ve done before.”

Stirling said it's too bad the Pumpkin Patch party isn’t happening this year.

“I mean it’s kind of one of those things that we do every year and you kind of plan on it, so it was a little disappointing. But we kind of look for other ways of doing it if we can,” he said. 

“From what I’ve heard through some people in the community, they like sending their kids there because they know it’s a safe place for their kids to go and just have a good time and then come out with a treat bag at the end. So Lord willing, we’ll get it going next year.”

He was asked if organizers might continue running the colouring contest next year and beyond, even if the COVID-19 pandemic has abated. 

“Well, that’ll be something we’ll have to discuss later at one of our committee meetings to see,” he said. 

“We have no idea what we’re going to get. We may get one or two kids; we have no idea. We’ll have to evaluate that once it’s done.”

He agreed there may still be many more waves of COVID.