Hilltop Pumpkin Party 8

Four-year-old Nora Harvey of Hudson shows off the pumpkin she decorated at the Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce's Hilltop Pumpkin Party on Saturday. Nora said she wanted to make a scary pumpkin.

Children dressed in costumes got an early start on Halloween Saturday at the Hilltop Pumpkin Party sponsored by the Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce and the YMCA.

The event drew 400-500 people to the YMCA’s Camp St. Croix for the annual event.

The highlight for many was the costume contest, judged by the Hudson Ambassadors Royalty. They had tough choices with numerous creative and original costumes.

The costume contest winners were:

  • Most Original: Veronica Perkins as The Claw and her brother, Rosco, as Alien Adbuction.

  • Scariest: Natalie Hybicki and Maggie Hanson as the twins from the movie “The Shining.”

  • Best Group: The Wizard of Oz, complete with a tornado, Aticus, Reuben and Stella Lallemont.

  • Best Overall: Woody from “Toy Story,” Jaceon Kemp.

“We couldn’t have asked for a nicer day,” Chamber President Mary Claire Potter said.

In addition to the costume contest, the pumpkin decorating was another popular activity. Children decorated pumpkins that were donated by the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

Teens from Youth Action Hudson helped youngsters color and put stickers on pumpkins. The dozen volunteers from the youth group also directed cars to parking spaces.

Meredith Arcand said Youth Action Hudson has about 40 members and collaborates with organizations like the Chamber and the YMCA to help with events.

There were fewer pumpkins for decorating this year, according to YMCA Executive Director Chris Yost. He said the drought had reduced the number grown. Normally the university provides 500. This year, Yost said, they only had grown 200. Those pumpkins were given to the first 200 kids to 

The event drew people from Hudson but also from the Twin Cities.

Kylee Desotelle brought her two young sons, Benjamin and Isaac, to the event from their home in St. Paul after she had seen an announcement about the Hilltop Pumpkin Party.The three got to sit in the driver’s seat on the horse-drawn wagon ride, another popular attraction. For most of the day, the line for the wagon ride had 50 or more people waiting.

“They love Hank and Buck,” Yost said, referring to the ride.

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