Perusing the Vail Valley pumpkin patch |

Perusing the Vail Valley pumpkin patch

Lauren Glendenning
Vail, CO Colorado
KRISTIN ANDERSON/Vail DailyAstrid McGinley, left, and her brother Leif search for a pumpkin Saturday during the Pumpkin Festival at 4 Eagle Ranch near Wolcott in Colorado's Vail Valley

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado – Vail Valley kids love Halloween for simple reasons – they get to dress up, there’s candy, and they can usually stay up a little bit past their bedtimes.

The kids running around 4 Eagle Ranch Satur-day for the second annual Pumpkin Festival and 5K Fun Run were getting their first tastes of Hal-loween fun as they perused the pumpkin patch for the perfect pumpkins. The event was a reminder not only for Halloween but also for Breast Cancer Awareness Month – half of the event’s proceeds went to the Shaw Regional Cancer Center in Edwards.

Gabrie Higbie, of KZYR The Zephyr, had the idea to incorporate cancer awareness into the event. She said the festival brings in so many families that it would be a great way to spread the word and raise money for a good cause.

Tom Backhus, who owns 4 Eagle Ranch with his wife, Tess, said it didn’t take much convincing for him because he’s had five friends pass away from cancer in just the past year.

“It certainly was an easy decision to make,” he said.

In honor of breast cancer awareness, the festi-val raffled off three large pumpkins that were painted pink for the event. One of those pumpkins was covered in pink glitter, and 100 percent of the proceeds from raffle tickets from that pumpkin also went to the Shaw Regional Cancer Center.

Aside from the chance to win a huge pink pumpkin, kids decorated small cloth pumpkin bags and tried to rope a makeshift horse. All the fun and games had them thinking ahead about three weeks.

“I’m going to be Scooby Doo (for Halloween), and my little brother, Koby, is going to be a Scoo-by snack,” said Kyan Meirowsky, 4.

Kyan had been running around the patch of 400 or so pumpkins brought in from a farm in Olathe with his brother until the two found their favorite pumpkins.

Hidalgo Ortega, 9, said he’s seen ninja movies and cartoons back in Mexico, which is why he wants to be ninja for Halloween. He was practicing his ninja moves as he skillfully roamed through the pumpkins with his little sister, Claresa, 5.

“I like Halloween because you get a lot of can-dy, you have fun, and you get to walk from house to house,” Hidalgo said.

Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or

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