The Voice of Wakefield High School

The Howler

The Voice of Wakefield High School

The Howler

The Voice of Wakefield High School

The Howler

Zoos across the country help with conservation and rehabilitation efforts. As a good way to celebrate National Endangered Species Day, go visit your local AZA accredited zoo.
National Endangered Species Day encourages global reflection
Nic Cazin, Co-Editor-in-Chief • May 17, 2024

Celebrate the Halloween season around Raleigh this fall

After+a+rainy+morning%2C+the+sun+comes+out+to+shine+on+the+pumpkins+at+the+North+Wake+Fire+Station+2.+The+pumpkin+patch+opened+Oct.+7%2C+and+with+over+2%2C000+pumpkins%2C+you+are+sure+to+find+one+to+love.
Nic Cazin
After a rainy morning, the sun comes out to shine on the pumpkins at the North Wake Fire Station 2. The pumpkin patch opened Oct. 7, and with over 2,000 pumpkins, you are sure to find one to love.

As a humid summer melds into a crisp fall, the Raleigh area is gearing up for the Halloween season. For people of all ages, this is the perfect time to experience the terrors of local haunted trails, go to family-friendly events or even buy a pumpkin at a local patch. 

While the spooky season is technically only in the month of October, pumpkins are a fall staple. For the past six years, the North Wake Fire Station 2 has held a pumpkin patch, and with time, it has only gotten bigger. Sandy Callahan is the Northern Wake Fire Auxiliary president, and has been since 2018. Along with the group of volunteers, Callahan helps raise money for the Northern Wake Fire Stations located across Wake Forest. 

“We’re a nonprofit organization that helps fundraise for the fire department through the different events that we do, the pumpkin patch [being] one of them,” Callahan said. “The pumpkin patch came about [when] we were looking for [a fall activity when] we came across an organization called USA Pumpkin.”

USA Pumpkin, or Pumpkin Patch Fundraisers, started in North Carolina back in 1974 with a partnership of one church. Since then, their three-acre farm grew to over 1,000 acres, and North Carolina became a Navajo Indian Reserve in New Mexico. USA Pumpkin has employed hundreds of Native Americans on the reserve, as well as truckers from across the country.

With the pumpkin patch working with over 1,000 non-profit organizations, including the Northern Wake Fire Stations, they are bringing fall-filled joy to the community one pumpkin at a time. 

“All money raised through the patch goes to the Fire Department Auxiliary and we distribute to our local five fire departments as needed,” Joely Bridge, a fellow volunteer, said. “We pay [USA Pumpkin] a percentage of our profits for how many we sell, so it’s a win-win situation. Any leftover pumpkins at the end are given to local animal rescues [or we] split them open for the local deer.”

However, supporting your local fire station by buying pumpkins isn’t the only thing you can do to celebrate Halloween this October. North Carolina’s noteworthy haunted trail attraction Panic Point is back for its 12 year in Youngsville, and you don’t want to miss your chance to take the frightening hike. 

Jake Battle, a haunter – or scare actor – at Panic Point, has been working at the scare experience for the past two years. From hiring new haunters to creating new trails, the attraction is always evolving, and this year is no different.

“The Haunted Hayride this year [has] a werewolf-type theme,” Battle said. “They also added a new concession stand called ‘Sweets & Treats’ which serves funnel cake fries, cinnamon toast sticks, cotton candy and more.”

As previously mentioned, Panic Point has been a staple in the Triangle for many years. Despite how much society has changed over the years, Panic Point and haunted houses in general have only grown more popular. 

“It’s almost exciting to never know what’s around the corner and then

A lot of people get entranced by the suspense of never knowing what’s next.

— Morgan

be surprised,” Sky Morgan, an actor for Wakefield High School’s own haunted house, said. “A lot of people get entranced by the suspense of never knowing what’s next.”

Despite an almost universal love for horror, there is a sense of comfort and safety at Panic Point. 

“We ensure that all of our guests have a good time getting scared but [that they’re also safe]. We [do] this by making sure that most of the props are fake and not actually able to hurt someone,” Battle said. “We [also] have these glow sticks that we can give to patrons who know that they will get scared really easily and that lets us haunters know to go easy on them. In the event that someone is not able to continue through [the trail], we will usually either try to scare them forward or a manager will come through and get them out.”

If families have kids on the younger side and are looking for a less scary way to celebrate Halloween, there are lots of events to choose from. Hosted by the town of Wake Forest, the Halloween Boo Bash is a fun-filled festival happening in Joyner Park on Oct. 26, from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. With free admission and optional costumes, this event is open to everyone interested.

Also on Oct. 26, Wakefield Elementary School is hosting its annual ‘Trunk-or-Treat’ event, occurring from 5:30 p.m. until 7 p.m. Volunteers in the Trunk-or-Treat will park their decorated cars at the back parking lot of the elementary school, and hand out a variety of candy and non-candy items for kids and adults alike to enjoy.

As a first-year PTA president, Naomi Weir is excited to host the event this year. After being part of the Trunk-or-Treat event in previous years, she has a few things she is looking forward to. 

“I moved from Canada and we did not really do Trunk-or-Treat, so this is a very new event for me personally [and] I love participating in it,” Weir said. “I love seeing all the different costumes that the kids come in [and] all the creative ways that people decorate their trunks. Last year someone had decorated their trunk like a big gumball machine, and [some] people had cornhole at their cars and great music.”

From Trunk-or-Treat to Panic Point to pumpkin patches, the Wakefield and Raleigh area has a lot of events to participate in this Halloween. Spend the night with family, friends or carving pumpkins, and have a happy Halloween.

“I think what’s unique about our [pumpkin patch] is that it is community-based,” Callahan said. “We got a lot of [students] who come out, lots of families. They can come out and [there is] not a lot of activity going on. It’s a great photo opportunity.”

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