Kids in costume zoomed along the crowded street Saturday at the annual Festival of Pumpkins on the square downtown in Paris, looking like every other year, except for the masks and hand sanitizer stations dotting corners all around the square.
“There’s been a lot of people today,” Elizabeth Rivera said from her booth for Beauty Grace Boutique out of Sulphur Springs.
With people wanting to get out of the house, wearing either medical or spooky masks, Lamar County was out in full force. Residents participated in different games, a children’s costume contest, a pet costume contest, a pumpkin decorating contest and a pumpkin giveaway from the Downtown Pumpkin Patch.
Also at the festival, several local organizations had booths, hoping to highlight awareness for their group. The Lamar County Humane Association had 18 pets adopted by midday, they said.
“We’re working on number 18 right now,” Stephanie Corley said. “We brought 25 dogs and 17 cats.”
A wheel positioned outside of the organization’s booth allowed anywhere from 5% to 50% off of adoption fees.
“I got 5% off,” Jennifer Rutherford said as she cuddled the labrador-mix puppy she had just adopted, adding she hadn’t named him yet, because “that’s a family decision. He’s got a big brother waiting for him at home.”
Nearby, Aislynn Fox, dressed as a Harlequin clown, knelt down to pet another dog.
“We’re thinking about getting another kitty,” her mother, Chavonne Smith, said.
People stood in line for different items, with the longest line following the kettle corn tent on Lamar Avenue. Over at Culbertson Fountain, families “fished” for prizes using fishing pole with a magnet attached. They then exchanged their fish for a prize at the booth.
Over by the pumpkin patch on Main Street, Gabby Baggett and Lizzy Bazhow said they were having fun with the day.
“I like the games,” Gabby said.
They waited until the way was clear to get into the pumpkin patch.
“We’re going to get a pumpkin,” Lizzy said, with a smile.