Cowboys and fairytale princesses were common sights on Wake Forest University’s campus as this year’s Project Pumpkin festival turned Hearn Plaza into a world full of Halloween fun.
The 24th annual event brought more than 1,400 Winston-Salem area children from local agencies and organizations to campus for an afternoon of fall celebrations.
Sponsored by the Volunteer Service Corps, Project Pumpkin is one of Wake Forest’s largest community events. Nearly 1,000 student volunteers dressed as their favorite Disney characters and accompanied children around the festival. Children from area schools and organizations enjoyed snacks, carnival games, trick-or-treating, and live entertainment. The Lion King’s “Pride Rock” and a spooky haunted house were popular attractions.
“Project Pumpkin is special because it grants local children an opportunity to experience something different from their everyday routine,” said Anne Mason, a senior on the steering committee of the event. “Their excited faces show how much they enjoy the opportunity to experience something new and fun. Those smiles are what make all the long hours of planning and funding the event worth it.”
Started by a Wake Forest student in 1988, Project Pumpkin is organized by students who recruit volunteers to sell T-shirts, schedule entertainment, organize carnival game booths and make creative decorations to transform Hearn Plaza into another world for the children.