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Hilltop businesses sponsor annual Pumpkin Party

The Merabella family from Oakdale, Minn., visits the pumpkin patch at the Hilltop Party to pick out potential jack o' lanterns for sons Michael (in the policeman costume) and Joseph (back to camera). Ann Merabella takes a photo of the boys and their father, Mike. "It's a very good one," she said of the pre-Halloween party. "Very family friendly." (Hudson Star-Observer photos by Randy Hanson)1 / 14
A contestant in the costume contest gives new meaning to the saying "cute as a cupcake." She's joined by two Star Wars characters.2 / 14
A little cowgirl is happy to participate in the costume contest. She and her brother competed in the 1 to 4 age group.3 / 14
Baby Melanie Reams eyes a photographer during the costume competition. She's held by her grandmother Helen McCombie. Her mother, Rebecca Reams, was nearby. Her father is Anthony Reams of R.J. Fresh Meats.4 / 14
Alyssa Lange of Lakeland, Minn., came to the party dressed as Rapunzel from the Grimm brothers fairy tale.5 / 14
Reed Arnold, a first-grader from River Falls, concentrates on decorating his pumpkin. He is the son of Toni and Brian Arnold.6 / 14
Elliot Harrison of Hudson, left, dressed as an airplane, took first place in the 1 to 4 age group in the costume contest. Ghostbuster Vincent Freeman, right, placed second.7 / 14
The winners in the 5 to 7 age group of the costume contest were, from left, Evelyn Bakken of Hudson as a race horse jockey, third place; Carter Nelson of Oak Park Heights, Minn., as a scary guy, second; and Hayden Cesena of Hudson as a gumball machine, first.8 / 14
The costume contest winners in the 8 to 10 age group were, from left, Brennan Soper as Paul Bunyan, third place; Caylee White as a zombie, second; and Tyler Cesena as a candy machine, first. All three are from Hudson.9 / 14
A youngster dressed as a swatted fly makes his way onto the costume contest stage to be introduced by Sue Elmer. Elmer, the special events coordinator at YMCA Camp St. Croix, chaired this year’s Hilltop Pumpkin Party. (Hudson Star-Observer photos by Randy Hanson)10 / 14
Leonard Hawkins of Hammond takes a group on a wagon ride, powered by his team of Belgians, King and Cody. The workhorses are 19- and 21-year-old brothers, Hawkins said. They weigh about a ton apiece. First American Bank, Luther Hudson Chevrolet and Westconsin Credit Union sponsored the horse-drawn wagon rides. Another team pulled a second wagon.11 / 14
Grace Metzger, a first-grader at Hudson Prairie Elementary School, beams with joy after Dino, her pet black lab, won a prize for his a hot dog costume.12 / 14
Adam Kittilson of Appleton introduces his baby daughter, Cecelia, to a goat in the petting zoo. Kittilson is a former Roberts resident.13 / 14
Costumed youngsters enjoy a pony ride on the grounds of YMCA Camp St. Croix’s Day Camp during Saturday’s Hilltop Pumpkin Party.14 / 14

Children and parents enjoyed a warm-up to Halloween on Saturday at the annual Hilltop Pumpkin Party held at YMCA Camp St. Croix’s Day Camp.

The activities included a costume parade, children and pet costume contests, pony rides, horse-drawn wagon rides, a petting zoo, bounce houses, pumpkin painting and a voyageur rendezvous.

The Hudson Fire Department had an engine on display and St. Croix EMS provided an ambulance to look at. The St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department gave a police dog demonstration.

The youngsters were able to select and take home a pumpkin to carve. Several local businesses gave away treats.

The event sponsors were:

Platinum – YMCA Camp St. Croix;

Gold – Minuteman Press and Wendy Peterson’s State Farm agency;

Horse and Wagons – First American Bank, Luther Hudson Chevrolet and Westconsin Credit Union;

Silver – Central Bank, Hudson Optical, Associated Bank, La Petite Dentistry, Little Minds Learning Center, Sam’s Club, Freedom Value Centers and Thrivent Financial for Lutheran;

Bronze – McNamee Real Estate Team, Massage Envy, Integrity Family Chiropractic, Green Mill, Hudson Hot Air Affair and St. Croix Valley Veterinary Clinic.

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

(715) 426-1066
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