From the Desk of Director Becca Hughson

As October draws to a close, and we begin to get a taste of cooler weather, there is a
certain lightness in the air.  The Ginger Thomas is in full bloom, washing St. Croix in
cheerful yellow trumpets and signaling that autumn is officially upon us.  The St. Georg
Village Botanical Garden is abuzz as we prepare for our Halloween SPOOKtacular. 
In true “woman warrior” fashion, our Nursery Manager Lucy Cabret and I jumped in the
trusty red garden truck and headed out to see our friends at Cost U Less.  We were
greeted with a treasure trove of candy, and a mountain of pumpkins.  Cost U Less had
done it again!  We said we wanted a fantastic children’s event, and Cost U Less didn’t
hesitate to donate three huge bins of pumpkins, and all the candy we could carry. 
These pumpkins are all so beautiful; the quintessential Halloween pumpkins.  As we
unloaded the truck, you could hear exclamations from Lucy and myself, “Hey look! 
THIS is the PERFECT Halloween pumpkin!” “Look at this one!  It’s a Headless
Horseman pumpkin!”
Did unloading the pumpkins take all day?  Yes, it did.  Did we mind?  Nope!  As we
stacked them by the Great Hall, it reminded me of the giant pumpkin mountains and the
“pick your own” pumpkin patches I grew up with in the states.  Lucy and I vowed to save
all of the pumpkin seeds from the event, and attempt our own pumpkin patch at the
garden next year. 
The Halloween SPOOKtacular is my first large scale event as the Director of
Administration, Development, Marketing and Events.  The main challenge was planning
a fun event that still keeps with the COVID safety guidelines.  This is especially
important when it’s a children’s event.  Let’s be real for a moment:  children are kinda
gross and they touch everything.  I feel completely qualified to say that because I have
two little ones, both under the age of four.  I often feel like a broken record when
reminding them to cover their mouths when they sneeze, and not to touch other people. 
Now, picture 50 children, all on a Halloween sugar high, running amuck in the garden. 
How do we enforce social distancing?
Thankfully, we have 16 acres to use!  Our solution:  have several activities all running at
once.  This keeps everyone occupied, but in different sections of the garden.  Children
can trick-or-treat while others carve pumpkins.  Children can do arts and crafts, while
others go on a Goblin Egg Hunt.  As for the costume parade… I’m fairly sure we can
keep the children at a distance from each other as we march around the kapok tree.
I’d like to give a huge thank you to our Vice President of the Board, Joan Kupfer for
being my “ride or die” partner in event planning, and to the INCREDIBLE group of
volunteers coming to the event to keep everything running smoothly.  I’d also like to
thank Together as One USVI for partnering with us for this event, and organizing the
children’s arts and crafts.

HAVE A SPOOKTACULAR HOLIDAY! Hope to see you on Sunday!

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