Museum hosts Fall Festival
Games and goodies galore at GEM
The Grand Encampment Museum (GEM) will be hosting their first annual Fall Festival and Carnival October 22.
The event, scheduled for between 3-6:30 p.m. Sunday will feature carnival games, a cake walk, trick or treating held around the museum’s boardwalk, history-filled hay rides, a costume parade and contest and a haunted trail.
Gayle Wessel, vice president of the GEM board of directors and event organizer, explained that the festivities were being held to fill a void she felt was created when the Encampment School stopped doing their Fall Carnival a few years ago. Wessel said, “I remember going to the Fall Carnival every year when I was growing up and wanted to get a similar event going again for the community.”
The entire museum will be used for the festival with carnival games set up in the GEM livery building. That building will also host a newly created jail made from actual antique jail bars. If you are of a mind, you can have someone at the event “arrested.” For the price of two tickets, GEM “bounty hunters” will put your selected criminal in the historic hoosegow for two minutes. Of course, those on their way to the pokey have the option of bribing their way out of incarceration using their own festival tickets.
Other games include a bean bag toss, dart throwing, Nerf “duck hunting,” a ring toss, a fishing booth and more.
The free hay ride will go around Encampment every 30 minutes between 3-4:30 p.m. Along the ride, a museum guide will point out historic features throughout the town.
Children of all ages are also invited to trick-or-treat from building to building along the museum’s boardwalk between 3-4:30 p.m.
Ghost miners may appear along the museum’s haunted trail later that afternoon. A G-rated trail will be available for younger adventurers between 4:30-5:30 p.m. Then between 5:30-6:30 p.m., the trail spookiness increases to a PG rating.
The costume contest and parade will be held at 4:30 p.m. along the boardwalk where prizewinners will be determined by age group from children to adults.
Valley Foods has donated pumpkins for a “pumpkin patch” where the orange squashes will be sold for $5 each.
Wessel hopes to see as many people as possible having fun at the new fall event and points out that proceeds raised will go to help with museum maintenance and upkeep.
For more information about GEM’s Fall Festival and Carnival you can call the museum at 307-327-5308.