FishHawk Pumpkin Fest“Come join friends and neighbors at Park Square on Saturday, October 25, as we host the third annual Life is good Pumpkin Festival,” said Newland Communities Marketing Manager Dawn Turner.
FishHawk Pumpkin Festival is a family-friendly event to be held all day October 25 from 9 a.m. beginning with a pumpkin carving contest all the way to 10 p.m. ending with a concert from local band “Blast!” In between will be pet and children’s costume contests, the World’s Greatest Back Yard Athlete competition and much more. This event is free to the public, with donations for event as low as $5.
One hundred percent of festival funds raised are donated to the Life is good Kids Foundation to be directed to HomeAid,, and Project Joy, Turner is hoping to raise at least $20,000. “Last year, we were able to raise over $25,000,” she said. “We hope to do that again this year.”
Turner said this year, Life is good and FishHawk Ranch partnered together to present a new twist on the event: The World’s Greatest Backyard Athlete competition.
In this competition, participants demonstrate backyard skills, competing in quirky, backyard games such as disc toss, pumpkin seed spitting, washer toss, pumpkin chuckin’ and a wacky obstacle course.

Participants will have to raise a minimum of $250 in order to be eligible for this competition. The top fundraiser of this event will receive the grand prize. In addition, the top athletes in the men’s and women’s divisions will also receive prizes. Local communities are encouraged to pick a representative to compete. Register now by visiting
Pumpkin carving begins at 9 a.m. for a $5 donation per pumpkin. At 7:30, you can display your pumpkin where it will be illuminated along with other pumpkins in Park Square. Afterwards, you can take your pumpkin home. Only pumpkins carved onsite will be permitted for judging and display. Be sure to arrive early for the best selection of pumpkins.
A Pet Costume Pawty will be held from 2-2:45 p.m. Prizes will be awarded for the most creative, wacky and well-presented pet costume. Entry fee is $5 per pet. Visit Resident Services to enter. Prizes will be awarded to the top three winners in each category. Continue with the festivities at the World’s Greatest Backyard Athlete Competition immediately following the Pet Pawty from 3-4:15 p.m.
After naming the World’s Greatest Backyard Athletes, the fall festivities will open up at 4:30 p.m. with a 30-minute pirate show presentation. In addition, festival goers will find great food, a pie eating contest, face painting, cookie dangling eating contest, pumpkin seed spitting, hay rides, and more. Tickets are required to participate in activities.
Plan ahead and make your donation in advance by check or cash at the Resident Services office located at the Osprey Club. Or, donate by credit card online at Simply bring your e-mailed confirmation from to the Osprey Club.
For a $10 donation, you get 10 tickets, a $20 donation will get you 25 tickets, a $30 donation equals 40 tickets, a $40 donation is 55 tickets and a $50 donation gets you 75 tickets. Activities range from one to five tickets. Also, food and beverage tickets will be available for purchase the day of the event.
Children won’t want to miss the costume parade and contest. This year, the participation fee will be $2 per participant. Pay in advance at the Osprey Club by cash or check or at Park Square the day of the festival. Costumes will be judged based on creativity and originality. Prizes will be awarded to the first and second place winners in each age category. Ages will be broken down as follows: newborns -4-year-olds, 5-7-year-olds, 8-10-year-olds and 11-year-olds and up.
Back by popular demand, the rock trio, “Blast!” will countdown to the pumpkin illumination. The concert will continue until 10 p.m. “Blast!” is a local group who played at Park Square for the first concert of the 2008 Summer Concert Series, according to Turner.
There are many ways for residents, neighboring communities and businesses to get involved with this event. If you are a business and are interested in sponsoring activities at the event or would like to make a monetary contribution, please e-mail Lynda McMorrow at Interested in volunteering? Contact Erin Olson at

Previous articleOctober Eye On Business
Next articleCounty Fair Finds Home In Valrico
Jennifer is the Assistant Editor at the Osprey Observer, having climbed the corporate ladder from intern in 2007. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications. She lives in Channing Park with her husband, Eric, and their two dogs.