OTTUMWA — The 28th annual Halloween Hike at Pioneer Ridge will be held this weekend on Oct. 11 and 12. The theme will be Yellowstone National Park.
Attendants will follow a lit walking path around the Pioneer Ridge Nature Center and hear from eight different characters representing different animals and sights of Yellowstone. There will be people dressed up as wolves, bison, eagles and more. They will give informational talks about the animals’ eating habits, behavior and other trivia.
All ticket sales will go to funding field trips to Pioneer Ridge and other conservation board properties.
The participants are all volunteers. Marsha Parker, one of the event organizers, said it takes about 50 people to run the hike. All of the actors are responsible for designing their own costumes and researching and writing their scripts. Each talk will be anywhere between 3-5 minutes long.
Becky Ingle, who will be playing Teddy Roosevelt, has played a character six times in the past.
“It’s fun. I like acting; I’m involved with OCCP, I just enjoy it,” Ingle said. “And I think it’s a great fundraiser for Pioneer Ridge. It’s a great resource for our community.”
Dillon Baldwin, who will be giving a talk as the Grey Wolf, said he attended the walk as a kid and was excited when Parker asked him if he wanted to participate. This will be his first year as a performer, but he’s appeared in a number of OCCP productions in the past.
Tickets are $3, and children 3 years old and younger get in for free. Snacks and games will be provided in the nature center at the end of the walk.
The event will run from 6-8 p.m. with hikes leaving from the nature center every 10 minutes. Those interested in making reservations should call 641-683-4621 or email PioneerRidgeHike@hotmail.com.