Prize Patrol to roam streets in October

The Pumpkin Prize Patrol will soon be driving through the streets of Wapakoneta looking for the most “spooky” scene.

This is the seventh year for the Orange Light District, and local residents are invited to decorate their homes in orange lights and Halloween decorations to celebrate the upcoming holiday.

Anyone that lives in Wapakoneta is eligible to compete, by participating for a chance to win prizes.

“We encourage people to put up their orange lights and get ready for the pumpkin patrol,” Wapakoneta Antique and Specialty Shops (WASS) President Landa Tomlinson said.

WASS is sponsoring this city-wide event, and they will have representatives drive around on Wednesday evenings in October, beginning on Oct. 10, and hand out prizes to top winners with the best display.

“We want to wait until the second Wednesday in October to give people a chance to put up their lights and decorations,” Tomlinson said.

The Pumpkin Prize Patrol will be driving around and handing out prizes on Oct. 10, 17, 24 and 31.

The winning houses will be voted on based on the originality of their orange lights and Halloween decorations, and prizes to be awarded include mums, from Village Green Floral and Garden Center, fall flags for yards, pottery pumpkins, made by the members at the Riverside Art Center and painted pumpkins from Fern Hill Farmhouse.

“It’s a wonderful event,” Tomlinson said, “especially on Auglaize Street, because it’s the parade route.”

Tomlinson noted residents on Auglaize Street tend to decorate because it is the parade route for the Halloween Parade in Wapakoneta.

The idea of the Orange Light District was suggested by a WASS member because October seemed to be a less active month, so this is something that would help perk up people and get them into the Halloween spirit.

Tomlinson said that participation in this event is great.

“The whole town is lit up in orange,” Tomlinson said. “It attracts people.”

This event is designed to get the city into the spirit of fall, Tomlinson said.    

“People know it (Orange Light District) well enough, so the whole town just gets on board,” Tomlinson said. “It’s a fun event in town.”

In addition, the WASS Decorative Arts Committee is displaying “Pumpkin Pride” in the parkway in downtown Wapakoneta.

This includes hand painted pumpkins and Halloween decorations to bring in the fall season.