Patoka schedules getaway weekend

PATOKA RESERVOIR — Patoka Lake’s annual Autumn Getaway Weekend No.1 is planned for Friday and Saturday, Oct. 19 and 20. All programs take place in the modern campgrounds at the shelterhouse and large tents.

Campers may bring canned vegetables for friendship stew at 5 p.m. Friday to the modern campgrounds shelterhouse. Naturalists and volunteers will cook the stew, which will be ready to serve at 7 p.m. Bring lawn chairs, crackers, bowls and eating utensils. Family and friends are invited to gather around the campfire.
Campers can start their quest around the park during the selfie scavenger hunt or buy pumpkins from the pumpkin wagon. Proceeds of $3 per small pumpkin and $5 per large pumpkin will benefit the Patoka Birds of Prey. Attendees are asked to bring blankets, comfy chairs and refreshments for this special premier.

Fall family fun with crafts, activities and games will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. People are asked to bring their own pumpkin and carving tools. Create a special jack-o’-lantern for the pumpkin carving contest. Bring a pre-washed, white cotton T-shirt for tie-dying; supplies will be provided. Campers can make a tin punch lantern for their campsite from kits with a cost of $5 per kit. Look for the tents in Campgrounds Section A near the gatehouse. Pumpkins will be for sale with small pumpkins priced at $3 and large at $5. Proceeds will benefit the Patoka birds of prey.

Sign up for the 16th annual Dutch oven cook-off competition will begin at noon. With Dutch ovens and supplies, create a dish between 12:30 and 3 p.m. Dishes will be judged as well as a 3:30 p.m. sampling by the public.

A cornhole tournament will begin at noon at the baseball field. Separate tourneys will be held for youth and adults.

Pets may attend in costume for the pet parade taking place at 2 p.m. There will be a special guest grand marshal. Pets must be on a leash. A pet costume contest will follow.

Beginning at 3:30 p.m., Taste of Patoka offers campers a taste of the Dutch oven cooking dishes and cast iron chili, prepared and served by Department of Natural Resources staff and volunteers. Participants are asked to bring a bowl or plate, silverware and a $2 donation to taste and judge these dishes.

Campsites must be decorated by 3 p.m. for the decorating contest. Judges will make their way around to all registered campsites to select first-place winners for scariest, most original and best fall theme categories.

Campers ages 12 and younger are invited to trick-or-treat between 6 and 7:30 p.m. around the campgrounds. There will be no vehicle traffic at this time for the safety of children.

For more information regarding this special event, details of the Dutch oven cook-off or other programs at Patoka, call the Patoka Lake Nature Center at 812-685-2447.

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