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‘Out of This World’ fun predicted for UCP of Maine’s 17th ‘Pumpkins in the Park’

October 15, 2019
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Take me to your candy! Kids of all ages can look forward to plenty of Halloween-related fun, candy, games, prizes and pumpkins at UCP of Maine’s 17th annual “Pumpkins in the Park” event, scheduled for Sunday, October 20, from noon to 5 p.m. at the Anah Shriners building, 1404 Broadway in Bangor.

Each year, UCP of Maine selects a different theme for the popular October event. According to Andrew Lohman, the non-profit organization’s marketing and communications manager - and the chair for “Pumpkins in the Park” - this year’s “Out of This World” edition will feature an outer space theme. Attendees can expect to see plenty of extraterrestrial-related costumes with similarly-themed patches, each sponsored by a different area business or organization.

“We try to match theme of the event with the activities we offer,” Lohman told The Maine Edge. “In our activities room, one of our committee members will offer a unique photo opportunity. It’s kind of like a three-dimensional thing where you step inside of it and you’ll be in the bubble of the helmet with aliens and space men. There is a place to put your arms, but they become alien arms in the photo.”

At “Pumpkins in the Park,” children have an opportunity to dress up in fun costumes and enjoy a safe, indoor trick or treating experience as they move from one creatively decorated patch to another in search of sweet treats.

The candy itself is UCP of Maine’s greatest expense related to “Pumpkins in the Park.” Lohman says they have plenty of candy available for each of the 22 confirmed patches (as of this writing) but candy donations are always welcome. Any individual or business willing to donate sealed bags or boxes of wrapped candy is encouraged to contact Lohman directly at 941-2952 ext. 233.

Since 2003, “Pumpkins in the Park” has been a significant fundraiser that benefits many programs under the UCP of Maine umbrella, according to Lohman. Last year’s 16th edition raised just under $11,000 that went directly toward programs such as the Bridges preschool program for kids with physical and intellectual needs.

“Most of the kids in this program have some sort of autism diagnosis,” Lohman said. “We offer case management for children and adults.”

According to a press release related to the event, UCP of Maine offers programs for in-home child and family treatment and outpatient therapy. UCP of Maine also supports four residential homes in Bangor and Brewer for adults diagnosed with developmental or intellectual disabilities, in addition to the Elizabeth Levinson Center – a 24 hour, 14-bed, intermediate care facility for medically fragile children and adults with significant cognitive and medical needs.

In an effort to keep children and parents entertained as they wait in line to enter the Anah Shriner building on Sunday, Lohman says UCP of Maine has come up with several fun activities to help them pass the time.

“Last year, we had volunteers out in the line interacting with folks. We’ll have a bounce house, a beanbag toss, and a booth set up for our dance competition. People waiting to get inside can take part, and they always have a lot of fun.”

Lohman says this year’s event will also include an appearance by “The Funsters” – a local group that dress up in full body costumes, including Sesame Street’s “Elmo.”

“Pumpkins in the Park” is a cash-only event, with admission of $3.00 per person or $10.00 for a family. Children aged three and younger may attend for free.

Presale will-call tickets are recommended for people looking to avoid ticket lines and are available by contacting Brenda Wilson-Denning at 941-2952 ext. 308, or by visiting UCP of Maine at 700 Mt. Hope Ave. suite 320 in Bangor. Tickets will be available at the door on the day of the event.

Attendees with sensory issues that might feel overwhelmed by large crowds, music, low light and other sights and sounds enjoyed by attendees throughout the afternoon are invited to a special sensory-friendly hour that is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m., according to Lohman.

“We’ll have the lights on and the music playing at a low volume for folks with sensory issues who would like to attend,” he said.

Two “Pumpkins in the Park” fundraisers are scheduled to follow this year’s event, which will require the presence of a special flyer available at UCP of Maine’s Facebook page.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, located near Bangor Mall, will host a fundraiser to benefit “Pumpkins in the Park” on Sunday, October 27. Fifty percent of proceeds collected from 4-8 p.m. will be donated to UCP of Maine when patrons present a flyer.

Uno Pizzeria and Grill, located on Bangor Mall Blvd. plans to conduct a “dough-raiser” benefit all day on Tuesday, Oct. 22. Uno’s pledges to donate up to 20 percent of your check to UCP of Maine when a flyer is presented.

Last modified on Tuesday, 15 October 2019 21:06

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