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10/1/2013 11:29:00 AM
Alpine Harvest Festival returns to Williams for second year
Pumpkin Patch Train, Bearizona's Howly, Growly, Owly Festival and the Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce's scarecrow contest all on tap through October
Two bear cubs enjoy a pumpkin. People can see bears and other animals at Bearizona's Howly, Growly, Owly Festival weekends in October. Submitted photo
Two bear cubs enjoy a pumpkin. People can see bears and other animals at Bearizona's Howly, Growly, Owly Festival weekends in October. Submitted photo
Williams-Grand Canyon News


Just in time for fall, the second annual Alpine Harvest Festival kicks off this weekend and continues every weekend in October.

The festival includes Grand Canyon Railway's Pumpkin Patch Train, Bearizona's Howly, Growly, Owly Festival and the Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce's scarecrow contest and other events.

More information is available at www.alpineharvestfestival.com.

Pumpkin Patch Train

The Grand Canyon Railway's Pumpkin Patch Train is a one-hour roundtrip train ride to a secret pumpkin patch, where kids and parents can pick out pumpkins to take home. Participants will ride in vintage 1923 Pullman cars to and from the pumpkin patch.

Back at the depot, kids can decorate their pumpkins, walk through a hay bale maze and go through the haunted train car.

"It's kind of like a haunted house, but inside a train car," said Grand Canyon Railway spokesman Stephen Pelligrini.

Halloween treats will also be for sale. Kids and parents are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes.

"It's a fun family friendly event here in Williams," Pelligrini said.

The Pumpkin Patch Train will run at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m Saturdays and Sundays in October. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for kids ages 2 to 15.

This year, people can reserve their tickets in advance for the Pumpkin Patch Train. More information is available at 1-800-843-8724 or www.thetrain.com.

Howly, Growly, Owly Festival

Bearizona's Howly, Growly, Owly Festival will feature several animal-themed activities.

"The fall in Williams, Ariz. is always so splendid. I can't think of a better time to come and visit our animals and enjoy the outdoors," said Vanessa Stoffel, Bearizona's chief operating officer.

The Howl-O-Ween Express, a windowless bus, will take visitors through the entire drive through portions of the park. The bus leaves from the Fort Bearizona parking lot at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays in October.

"It's really great to be able to view the animals without having glass in the way or windows like you would if you had taken your car through," Stoffel said.

She added that the animals are very active during the fall.

"It's cooled down from the summer and they're just out and about, and they have their beautiful winter coats on and they look amazing," she said.

During the festival, the park also plans to unveil its new mineshaft exhibit, featuring ringtail cats, possums, snakes, tarantulas and scorpions.

Other activities include a haunted mine shaft, which is rated PG-13, and a growly bear cave where visitors can see several jack-o-lanterns and possibly some kindergarten bears.

An Owly Raptor Show, featuring hawks, owls and raptors, will take place at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. daily.

Visitors are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes for a "beary" special treat.

People will be admitted to the park between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Admission to Bearizona is $20 plus tax for adults and $10 plus tax for kids ages 4-12. More information is available at (928) 635-2289 or www.bearizona.com.

Chamber events

The Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce is putting on a scarecrow contest for local businesses, and anyone can help judge until Oct. 28. Those interested can pick up a ballot and map at the Visitor Center, 200 Railroad Ave.

The Public Lands Interpretive Association and the Kaibab National Forest will also put on interpretive presentations at the Williams and Forest Service Visitor Center.

The chamber is also organizing a pumpkin carving contest and a dress up day. More information is available at (928) 635-0273 or www.experiencewilliams.com.


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