Mansfield celebrates harvest and Halloween traditions

Belgian horses Dan and Molly from the Asmussen Ranch pull the covered wagon for a hayride during the Mansfield Community Church harvest festival Oct. 27. (Empire Press photo/Adrienne Douke)


By Adrienne Douke
Empire Press Correspondent

Raelynn Bayless as a tiger, Christy Mcgraw as a punk rocker, and daughter Joyce McGraw as cat lady at the Mansfield School harvest carnival Oct. 26. (Empire Press photo/Adrienne Douke)

Mansfield closed out the month of October with a variety of activities celebrating harvest traditions and Halloween.

First up?was a harvest carnival hosted by Mansfield School on Oct. 26.

The carnival was sponsored by the Associated Student Body with?junior high and high school students organizing, designing and running different booths to raise money for classroom supplies and the school?s senior field trip.

This year?s event featured a petting zoo including a horse from the Asmussen ranch, affectionately?named Bullseye.

There were several activities to choose from?such as basketball hoops, bingo, face painting, and a bouncy house. Food concessions were available.

Winners of the Mansfield Community Church harvest festival chili cook-Off on Oct. 27 were Sarah Tupling, first place; Christy Asmussen, second place; and Lisa Hall, third place. (Empire Press photo/Adrienne Douke)

?Our harvest carnival is one of our main fundraisers for our senior field trip, and we have a good time too,? said senior Ariana Salcido.

The Mansfield Community Church then hosted a harvest festival on Oct. 27.

Community members young and old participated in games such as a harvest shoot, football throw, fishing hole?and a clothespin drop.?There was also a craft corner and the popular dessert walk.

?There were lots of cakes, pies, pastries and muffins to win,? co-organizer Tara Tupling said.

Those attending also sampled entries in the the chili cook-off.?First place winner was Sarah Tupling, with Christy Asmussen, second; and Lisa Hall third.

Tupling said her chili recipe is one she has used for a while and ?my family loves it.”

“Chili is a great fall food. I usually add more jalapeno peppers for spiciness, but I toned it down a bit this time,? Tupling said.

The Asmussen ranch brought?its team of Belgian horses, Molly and Dan, owned by Howard Asmussen and driven by Agustin Morales. The horses pulled a covered wagon around town. The hayride offered a nostalgic experience for both young and old.?The horses also represent Howard’s on the River, a hotel in Pateros.

Ric Bayless shares Halloween fun with his granddaughter Raelynn Bayless at the home of Matt and Joanna Scheibe in Mansfield. (Empire Press photo/Adrienne Douke)

?They have participated in five parades this year,? Christy Asmussen said.

On Halloween, the Mansfield Fire Department (Douglas County Fire District 5) hosted a trick-or-trunk event at its parking lot.

The event was a hit with everyone, as princesses and princes, ghosts and goblins and other Halloween characters came to check out all the different themes of decorated car trunks with treats distributed.

Natasha and Jeremy Hemmer?portrayed?”mad scientists,”?and set up a creepy trench where kids could “feel” worms (wet spaghetti), bugs (raisins) and eyeballs (peeled grapes).

The fire department?volunteers wanted to share the fun with?the?trick-or-trunk event.

It was a great venue to?conclude their Fire Prevention Month??to balance the importance of fire prevention and safety with the fun of Halloween,? co-organizer Julie Caille said.

As twilight came,?the town was full of kids and their parents trick-or-treating at homes decorated in Halloween and harvest themes.

Joanna Sheibe?s home was such a place. Each year, Sheibe selects fun and spooky Halloween decorations and creates a scary costume.

?I don?t consider it a proper Halloween if they don?t get scared a little,? Sheibe said.

The Mickelsons decorated their yard with a court of dragons and a special “ghost chair” creaking on the back porch.

?We do enjoy decorating the yard and porch for Halloween,? Diana Mickelson said. ?Each year we like to add to our collection of Halloween decorations.?This year we got a new dragon.?

Harvest?celebrations?and spooky Halloween fun???where the whole community gets involved?? continue to be important traditions in Mansfield.