Many people look forward to Fire Fest, an annual event, which is granted by the Missouri Arts Council. This particular event has been hosted on the first weekend in November for 10 years running. Everyone in our community, and others around us, are invited to come to downtown New Haven and celebrate. Fire Fest consists of many fun activities like a pumpkin-carving contest, live music, a ‘burning man’, and so many more exciting activities.
Events started at 11:30 that morning. People of all ages were able to start rolling in for the fun, which lasted till about 10:00 P.M.
Starting off with the pumpkin-carving contest, the 2D art class had Claire Laune as the first place winner, Lydia Pataky as the second place winner, and Michelle Bahena as the third place winner. And for the 3D art class, the first place winner was Paige Remillard, second was Dalyla Hurst, and third place was Callie Weatherly.
The winners of the carving contest received many different kinds of prizes like sodas, full sized candy bars, glass pumpkins, and much more.
When asked to describe her winning pumpkin, junior, Callie Weatherly, stated, “I had Freddy Krueger's theme song that the little girls jumping rope in the movies sang wrapped around gashes that were slanted across my pumpkin, going from the bottom to the top. To try and add a little something extra, I put a homemade version of Freddy Krueger's glove to make it look as if he had just made the gashes in the pumpkin.”
When asked about her inspiration, Claire Laune, junior, stated, “I took mini pumpkins before I ever started on my sundae and made them into donuts and so I decided to turn my big pumpkin into a sundae.”
Paige Remillard, sophomore, made a skull and rose designed pumpkin.
Senior Lacie Grater commented, “I originally wanted to create my pumpkin in a way that would make it look as if the pumpkin was eating an eyeball. However, it didn’t go as planned. I had the teeth carved out, but I had to make it look like it was eating a black ball instead. While trying to make my pumpkin stand out more, I added black paint and fake blood for the dirty effect. When looking back at how I designed my pumpkin, I wish that I would have just left it as a scary looking mouth, instead of adding a lot of unneeded effects.”
Junior Diana Ribera stated, “I loved carving my ‘Harry Potter’ themed pumpkin. I love the movies so I loved working on it.”
Besides the pumpkin-carving, Fire Fest offered little shops where you could buy souvenirs or get a gift for a friend or family member. The shops sold things like jewelry, glass, artwork, clothing, and homemade items.
While down at Fire Fest, many people were nervous to leave the grounds due to the limited parking. However, this event had many different selections of food on various food trucks and many other vendors on the grounds.
Junior Grace Soete stated, “I did not participate in anything, but I enjoyed walking around and looking at all the vendors. They had a wide variety of food and jewelry and activities for people to watch.”
Every year, Fire Fest consists of the House of Fire and Ice, fire dancers, and the ‘burning man’, but this year, they added a few additions. The dragon boat, sky lanterns, and the monkey bus were added into the mix this year. The dragon blew out fire, leaving the kids amazed with the sudden outburst of flames.
Junior Alex Trentmann commented, “The Fire and Ice was my favorite. It might have taken a while to start the fire but it was worth it.”
Want to dim down the nagging children? All you would have to do is put them on the monkey bus, and once they get off, they will become more calm, and easier to handle.
The House of Fire and Ice attracted many people. This attraction gave you the satisfaction of seeing big chunks of ice melted faster than usual, kind of like putting a fire inside an igloo.
Towards the end of the event, there was the ‘burning man’ and more fire dancers. Don’t freak out, it wasn’t a real man-- it was hay that took the shape of a man and it was about 8 times taller than an actual person. They set fire to the ‘man’ and attracted many of the people's attention. Once he had gone up in flames, the dancers continued to amaze the crowd with the dancing fire, ending the night of lighting up downtown New Haven.
Fire Fest attracts many people from all over each year. Hopefully this tradition will be able to continue for years to come, bringing more and more new faces to New Haven.