Emily Buckley, editor-in-chief
Ida and Wallace Beutler began the North Logan Pumpkin Walk in 1983 with a simple Halloween display in the field of their family farm on 1600 East in North Logan.
Mrs. Beutler had a vision for a lighter, happier spin on Halloween. She had a deep love for children, and wanted to create a place for families to come enjoy the season and make happy memories. With that goal in mind, she and her husband opened their family farm to the community for the annual celebration.One evening, just before Halloween, a few teenage boys knocked over and vandalized the scene. The boys were caught red handed by the local police who delivered them to Mrs. Beutler’s doorstep to make a confession. The loving, retired school teacher invited them in, offered them apple cider and made an agreement that they could make restitution by helping her put together another display the following year. They did just that, and the Pumpkin Walk has continued ever since.
“My mother was the creative genius,” said Marie Godfrey, a North Logan resident and one of Ida and Wallace’s five daughters. “Dad was her helper to make it all happen.”
By 1984, the Pumpkin Walk on the Beutler Farm included fresh-pressed apple cider and homemade cookies for every visitor, a bonfire by th granary and hand painted displays and scenes of carved pumpkins and other seasonal décor. That year, the event attracted about 200 visitors on each of its two nights.
The Pumpkin Walk, which has featured the likes of a pumpkin Rapunzel on top of the chicken coop and scenes depicting popular movies from E.T. in the 1980s to Moana this year, quickly became a well-loved community tradition. By the fourth year, 20,000 people came to the Beutler’s Pumpkin Walk, and the event was outgrowing their farm. Before long the city of North Logan adopted the event, moved it to Elk Ridge Park in 1992 and committed to stay true to Mrs. Beutler’s original vision of a family-friendly atmosphere, which, by the way, is always free to attend.
“From the beginning, the Pumpkin Walk was a community effort, involving countless hours of service and the talents of so many,” said Marie. These talents included the work of Artist and North Logan resident Nancy Isrealsen who helped create the Pumpkin Walk, painted many of the early scenes and continues to be involved today.
Currently, a volunteer committee manages the event, Lee’s Marketplace donates cookies, Rocky Mountain Power donates energy, North Logan City donates manpower and space and countless community members pitch in to carve and paint the nearly 700 pumpkins, set up displays, serve cookies and clean up each year. About 40,000 visitors from Cache Valley and beyond make the Pumpkin Walk part of their annual Halloween celebrations.
Although Ida and Wallace have both passed on, Marie and her sister Annette Perkes, who also still lives in North Logan, are happy to continue participating in the Pumpkin Walk, and to involve their children and grandchildren as they paint displays and visit the event each year.
“It takes a lot of work to pull it together,” said Marie. “It is wonderful that so many people are involved. Mother would be thrilled!”