MCLAIN STATE PARK - After the success of state parks such as Baraga and Van Riper with Halloween celebrations, new McLain State Park supervisor Lee Verberkmoes thought the same thing could be done there.
So on Sept. 22, the park will hold its inaugural Fall Festival, with activities throughout the day.
"I'm new here as the supervisor and decided to get on the bandwagon," he said. "We feel we've got a lot of potential to grow it. We're going to start off with something we can manage, and if it's successful, we'll add onto it next year."
Things will kick off at 8:30 a.m. with cider and doughnuts at the campground host site. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., there will be a Finnish woodcarving demonstration.
In the afternoon, there will be two costume contests for campers at the park. At 1:30 p.m., dogs, cats and other animals will square off to determine the top pet costume; the kids' costume contest will take place at 2 p.m.
From 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., there will be trick or treating for children who are camping at the park. Treats will be provided by campers.
Later that night, there will be a campsite decorating contest at 7 p.m. As with the other contests, there will be prizes. If weather permits, at 9 p.m. there will be an astronomy program with telescopes.
"The guy who's running it is also encouraging people to bring binoculars," Verberkmoes said.
The day is primarily intended for people camping at the site, Verberkmoes said. A Michigan recreation passport is requird for all vehicles entering the park; there are no additional charges for the festival.
"Ultimately, the goal is to draw more campers," Verberkmoes said.