Events abound for kids today

Businesses, organizations hosting Halloween activities

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— The kids won't be bored today.

Several pre-Halloween festivities are planned for youngsters in Steamboat Springs. Local businesses and organizations have teamed up to ensure children have a ghoulishly good time with pumpkins, costume contests, candy and games.

This morning, the Steamboat Springs Optimist club and TIC are hosting the annual pumpkin festival at the Soda Creek Elementary School playground. About four tons, or 8,000 pounds, of pumpkins have been ordered for children who attend. Event organizers are expecting a big turnout that mirrors previous years. About 300 children usually show up, said Paul Hands, one of the event's organizers.

"They cover the whole playground," he said.

Water-based paints are provided so children can decorate a pumpkin before taking their colorful prize home. But a few pumpkins are always left behind.

Event chairman Rob MacCarthy said the festival is in its 12th or 13th year.

And after so many years of planning for plenty of perky pumpkin painters, organizers don't expect too many surprises.

The pumpkin festival is free and begins at 10:30 a.m. Refreshments will be served.

After a morning of painting, parents can tote their children to Toys in the Attic for some afternoon playtime.

Toys in the Attic is holding its second annual Halloween carnival for children in kindergarten through the fifth grade.

The 1 to 4 p.m. carnival is free and features games such as apple bobbing, prizes and a costume contest.

The winner of the costume contest will take home two youth and two adult day lift passes donated by the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.

The second-place finisher gets a $50 savings bond from Vectra Bank, and the third-place finisher wins six day passes to Vertical Grip.

Wanda Brehmer, an owner of Toys in the Attic, said every child would take home goodies. Redemption tickets won at carnival games can be turned in for prizes.

"They get something whether they win (the costume contest) or not," Brehmer said.

Parents and children can top off their day at the community center, where Bud Werner Memorial Library is holding its annual Halloween party from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

"We get a huge crowd," said Currie Meyer, head of youth services at the library.

Middle and high school students are volunteering their time and energy to the party.

Meyer said the party gives kids a chance to sport their costumes, play games, do crafts, eat treats and listen to spooky music.

"It's free and fun and safe," she said.

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