Around 100 families came to the Patee Hall parking lot in Halloween costumes to prepare for the annual Children’s Parade on Saturday morning.

The parade had a free registration so families could participate without worrying about the cost.

Executive Director of the Pony Express Museum Cindy Daffron said it was important for the organizers to make this event open for all.

“We try to focus on children and family, and this is an opportunity for everybody to stretch out and just have a good time today and enjoy the wonderful weather we have, but enjoy being together as a family,” Daffron said.

The children were put into their own age divisions ranging from infant to 12 years-old, as well as a family costume category and overall scariest costume.

There were a wide variety of costumes at the parade. One family came as steampunk time travelers for the parade dressed with Victorian style outfits, iron goggles and top hats.

Summer Kenney described herself as the leader of their time traveling group and Cierra Mrkvicka was the brains of the operation. Grace Kenney age 12 and Silas Kenney age 10 were the fighters of the group, ready with fake staff weapons.

“I don’t really have any weapons but I have this staff, and my fists,” Grace Kenney said.

PumpkinFest was recently listed as one of the top 29 Halloween festivals and costume contests near you by Country Living, where they highlighted the lighting of 800 jack-o-lanterns and activities.

Daffron said the community of St. Joseph and the many organizers are to thank for the listing.

“We’re really pleased that people supported (PumpkinFest,)” Daffron said. “We got an award from country living and we were placed in the top 10 in the United States as a festival across the country. So we’re not talking the state of Missouri, I’m talking the country, but the pride belongs to the community and these people here today who are helping us make it, we didn’t do it ourselves,” Daffron said.

After the Children’s Parade, families went to the costume parade award ceremony beside the Pony Express Museum.

For more information about other PumpkinFest events, click here for the full schedule, or go to the Pony Express National Museum’s website.

Chloe Rhein can be reached