HANNIBAL – Children danced with the Hannibal Fire Department's fire pup, caught toy bats with a fishing pole magnet and raced through a maze of hay bales at the Hannibal County Market's annual Pumpkin Fest on Saturday.
Among the youngsters making happy memories was Kohaen McClain, who was dancing with the fire pup, even getting down on her knees to match her silent partner.
Parents and grandparents were busy taking pictures of their smiling children, holding bags of prizes won at pumpkin-related games on the store's parking lot. Mother Nature contributed to the fun, drying up the rain that fell during the night Friday.
County Market Bookkeeper Christina Carroll paused while serving food to note how grateful she was for the sunny day. “The sun came out and dried everything off,” she said. Carroll has coordinated the Pumpkin Fest for the past 12 years.
Emily Kirkpatrick, another bookkeeper at the store, was enjoying helping children play pumpkin tic tac toe. Some playing this game were Alyson and Mason Malone and their cousin, Harper.
Caiyssen French was bowling with a pumpkin ball.
Kason French was among the small children having fun going through the hay bale maze, which had some covered areas.
As 4-year-old Aubrelella Smith went down the slide near the bounce house, her grandmother, Chris Smith, said earlier she went through the maze and enjoyed bowling, darts and fishing with a magnet.
Alexis Ranabargar was playing a dart game.
Penelope Lee was happy to catch a toy bat with the magnet on her fishing pole.
Pumpkins of all sizes were displayed for sale on the maze, where Noah Dameron was among the children choosing a big pumpkin to take home.
A Marion County ambulance and Hannibal Fire Department truck offered children an opportunity to see how they are equipped to serve people. HFD Engineer Kenny Mast was posing for photos with the children, including sisters, Adalyn and Aaryn McGee.
Music was played throughout the fest, prompting children to dance as they went from one game to the next. Shayne Huston was dancing, as her brother, Jax, watched.
“We had a real good turnout. We are happy to serve the community and be part of the community”, said County Market Manager Kim Ruhl.
See photo gallery for more pictures of the Pumpkin Fest.