"I like to carve the pumpkins and see what they look like at the end," Northwestern Elementary School third-grade Marly Irwin said, as she finished carving her pumpkin to be displayed at Northwestern's annual Pumpkin Walk.
Nearly 900 jack-o-lanterns will light the night this weekend, as Northwestern Future Farmers of America (FFA) and Agricultural Studies students hold the fourth annual event from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 23, and Saturday, Oct. 24, on the trails behind Northwestern High School.
All students at Northwestern and Springfield Elementary Schools carve a pumpkin for the event, with the help of Northwestern High School students and volunteers.
Senior Autumn Sanders has helped out with the event all four years, since she was a freshman.
"For some of the kids, it's their first time carving pumpkins," Sanders said. "Seeing the looks on their faces, carving with them, and seeing their creations, is cool."
High school Ag students, along with teacher and FFA adviser Anthony Honeycutt, organize and run the event. They market the event, groom the nature trail, manage logistics throughout and clean up when it's over.
Students also fundraised for the event and collected donations from local businesses. FFA President Sam Gollmer said they have raised nearly $1,500 to pay for the event.
"This is a good activity to encourage more members to get involved in our program," senior FFA member Isaac Merritt said. "It's easy to come out and help. A lot of the prep is during the school day, and it doesn't cost anything. It's a good experience."
Concessions will be available for purchase at the pumpkin walk, and students from the art department will be painting faces.
Cost to attend is $2, and all proceeds go toward Pumpkin Walk costs and other FFA programs.