Sheldon Halloween Carnival 2018

Captain Hook, aka Bill Boscaljon, guides Ari De Groot, who is dressed Leonardo of the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” in a game of ring toss during the 2018 Sheldon Halloween Carnival.

SHELDON—Once a year, Prairie Arts Historical Park becomes Sheldon’s most family-friendly haunt.

The venue will host its annual Halloween Carnival noon-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26. Parking is available at the adjacent parking lot of the former Shopko Hometown store.

“It’s always a free event,” said volunteers Tricia Meendering.

The carnival, sponsored by the Prairie Arts Council, features more than 15 games/activities for people of all ages.

“We try to bring in a few new games each year,” Meendering said.

One of the most popular activities is the riding mower-powered train.

For years, the council has borrowed a train belonging to Howard Johnson of Ashton. This year, Johnson made the council its own all-black train and donated it.

“He said his payment is seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces,” Meendering said. “Is that not awesome?”

Guests can expect to receive lots of free candy, but there also will be other snacks available.

“We’ll have concessions, hot dogs, nachos, caramel apples, popcorn, hot cocoa, sweet treats,” Meendering said.

She also asks that people take precautions for weather events.

“It’s fall y’all, so it’s going to be chilly so dress appropriately,” Meendering said. “Rain or shine it’s going to take place unless it’s downpouring.”

Putting on this annual free event does require a lot of help.

“We’re always looking for volunteers,” Meendering said.

People interested in volunteering should call Karin Vander Berg at 712-324-9718 to sign up for a shift. Typically, volunteers can help with set up, running a game or tearing down after the event.