Pumpkins, gourds, fall, autumn, halloween, thanksgiving.psd

Fall is in the air and that means PTO fundraisers at the elementary schools! With three events planned, families can pick and choose which date works the best, is closest to home, or offers the kind of fun or food with the most appeal.

Organizers at each school have been working diligently to assemble a unique lineup of activities. All of the schools report that this is their main fundraiser for the year, and encourage all families and community members to take part!

The PTO committees also want to express their sincere appreciation to the community for its support in making these events so successful.

If you can volunteer or donate an item to a specific fall festival, contact your child’s teacher, check the individual school PTO page on Facebook, or reach out to the school directly.

Here’s a round-up of info about this year’s parties, in chronological order:

Tetonia Elementary School Fall Festival, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2-5 pm, Tetonia Elementary, Tetonia

Up in the north end, the TES PTO knows how to put on a party! There will be games for kids, including a fish pond, darts, pumpkin toss, and plinko, with a cake walk and a choose-your-prize raffle for grown-ups. Punch cards are hung on yarn so kids won’t lose them.

Their food offerings will be yummy kid-friendly snacks like snow cones, cotton candy and caramel apples. Tracy Beebe is again serving as festival coordinator; Jessie Pozzi is the new Tetonia PTO president.

The TES families decided to move the date to mid-October this year to avoid a potential conflict with events at the other schools. The mid-October date also means that families can come enjoy some old-fashioned fun without worrying about the potential stress of donning multiple Halloween costumes.

Driggs Elementary School/Rendezvous Upper Elementary School Combined Fall Festival, Saturday, Oct. 26, 4-7 pm, Teton Middle School, Driggs

For several years, DES and RUES have linked up to present a super-sized Fall Festival, with the intent to make it easier for families who have kids attending both places to take part. This year is no exception.

The DES/RUES Fall Festival will again be held at TMS, to allow for as many people to enjoy the fun as possible; it will include games and prizes, food and treats, plus a pumpkin-carving contest.

Also featured will be some of the user-friendly aspects of previous years, like “graded prizes.” This means the prize to be awarded will vary depending on the game – the more difficult the game, the better the prize.

Volunteers have also been seeking donations to both a silent auction and raffle. Some of the main items to be auctioned off are five days lodging at Teton Village in Jackson Hole, a white water rafting trip, and a two-person helicopter ride.

As part of this year’s Coat and Boot Drive organized by the Community Resource Center, parents will be able to choose kids winter gear from clothing racks at the DES/RUES festival.

A group of businesses have already donated generously to help purchase game prizes, including: Teton Creek Auto Glass, Phillips Painting, DW Tile and Natural Stone, Roberts Concrete, First American Title, Stillwater Design Group, and Tony Wade Farmers Insurance.

Victor Elementary School Fall Festival, Friday, Nov. 1, 5-8 pm, Victor Elementary, Victor

The Victor Fall Festival, being planned for the Friday night the day after Halloween, is more directly geared to youngsters and brings the holiday theme into play in a major way. The late date was chosen so it wouldn’t conflict with the other schools’ parties and other community events.

This year, the VES PTO has added new games to make sure they are geared towards the age group of students.

Always a favorite competition, the costume contest will feature prizes for the top three winners (including tickets to the Elk Refuge, tickets to Pierre’s Playhouse, and a gift certificate to the Victor Emporium). The festival will also feature free horse-drawn wagon rides.

This is the last year the Victor fall festival will be held at the old school, so a special Spook Alley is planned for the VES “Dungeon,” a famous (infamous?) area of the school basement. It, too, is being altered to be more fitting for younger students. Note however, that principal Megan Christensen is practicing her scariest expression: “Moooo-waaa-haa-haa-haa-haa-ha!”

A change-up to the VES food means it will have a more comfort-food feel — chili and cornbread, with some sides. And for the second year in a row, VES third-graders will be making allergy-friendly baked goods that will be sold at a bake sale; expected price is $1 per baked

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