Hundreds flocked to the edge of Exeter for Bill and Terri Volkmer’s annual pumpkin painting this last weekend making it a challenge to find an empty spot at a table.
The Volkmer’s have hosted the annual event for ten years starting out small with just five painters. Each year has grown exponentially with this year being the biggest.
Preparation for the event starts at least three weeks before the event. Pumpkins, paints, and brushes are just a small part of the set up.
“Halloween has always been my favorite holiday,” said Terri “Every year Bill says this is the last year but I always overhear him tell a little painter ‘we’ll see you next year.’”
The week of the big event the Volkmer’s transform their shed with low tables just right for kids to sit and paint for an hour or two. The shed is all decked out in a Halloween theme with witches, ghosts and spiders to help inspire the painters to create all kinds of creatures on their pumpkins.
The Volkmers supply the paints, lots of decorations and a clear coat for the pumpkins for a minimal price. Over 170 guests registered to paint this year, with many bringing their parents and other family members who didn't paint. The Saturday event had families coming and going all morning long.
Along with the Volkmers, there were lots of volunteers to help the painters. Volunteers refilled the water bowls on the tables, helped dry the pumpkins and manned the hot glue decoration station. They also served up bags of popcorn to the kids and parents while they waited for their pumpkins to dry after a clear coat.
Not only do the kids have fun painting they love the time while their pumpkins dry. Even though the wind was a little brisk Saturday morning the kids enjoy playing outside and exploring all of the Volkmer’s decorations.
“We had lots of awesome surprises this year – NTV was there doing a special episode of “One Tank Trips” and we had five special photographers here as well. It was such a great day,” explained Terri, “Next year I want to have more activities for the kids to do while they wait for their pumpkins to dry.” Yes, already planning for next year.