Scaring up a good time at the Botanical Center


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Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2013, 7:54 pm
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By Jonathan Turner, jturner@qconline.com
ROCK ISLAND -- This year's month-long Pumpkin Extravaganza at the Quad City Botanical Center culminated Sunday on a blazingly sunny, crisp fall day with the not-so-scary Monster Mash.

The festive fourth-annual event included a costume contest, candy hunt, arts and crafts in the outdoor canopy, Miller's Petting Zoo and awards for the best scarecrows as voted by visitors all month.

"We just thought it'd be fun, something cool," said Christine Bozarth of Davenport, who won the scarecrow-making contest with her daughter Jillyan, 11. There were 32 entries displayed this month in the gated garden outside the center.

Their winning scarecrow (filled with real hay) was dressed as a clown using items all purchased at Davenport Goodwill, Ms. Bozarth said. On Sunday, Jillyan -- dressed as a colorful clown -- also entertained other kids by making balloon animals, a skill she learned this summer at the Quad City Clown Troupe offered by Davenport Parks & Recreation. She also has performed at area nursing homes.

"Clowning around is really fun," Jillyan said, noting she also does magic tricks and makes little dogs out of beads. "You get to make a bunch of cool balloon animals. There are places you can go, clown around, and make other people happy. I go a lot of places."

Ms. Bozarth and her daughter, who did the Monster Mash for the first time this year, typically come to the center a few times a year.

"It's just a nice place to visit. They always have great activities for kids," Ms. Bozarth said.

Lisa Summers, of Rock Island, has a family membership since her mother works at the center. On Sunday, she watched her costumed kids play with the wide variety of animals in the petting zoo.

"The kids love it," she said of 6-year-old son Sean (dressed as Captain America), 4-year-old Zoe (Snow White), 5-year-old David (Batman) and 8-year-old Alyssa (Frankie Stein). "They got balloon animals, got to make monster bags."

Shanna Smith, of Moline, and her husband, Chris, have taken their three children to other area Halloween events such as Fright Night in The District and Country Corner in Alpha. On Sunday, they were checking out the Monster Mash.

Their 2-year-old twins, Everett and Georgana, were costumed as Batman and Wonder Woman, with 3-year-old Jackson as Spider-Man.

"They loved the petting zoo. I was impressed," Ms. Smith said. "I haven't been here in a few years. We've been busy having babies." She's expecting another baby in January.

Several Augustana College students volunteered to help with Sunday's activities.

"They help us out all year round," said Beth Peters, the center's visitor services coordinator. "We have a really great relationship with Augustana."

















 



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  Today is Wednesday, April 23, the 113th day of 2014. There are 252 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: Some persons are negotiating for 80 feet of ground on Illinois Street with a view of erecting four stores thereon. It would serve a better purpose if the money was invested in neat tenement houses.
1889 — 125 years ago: The Central station, car house and stables of the Moline-Rock Island Horse Railway line of the Holmes syndicate, together with 15 cars and 42 head of horses, were destroyed by fire. The loss was at $15,000.
1914 — 100 years ago: Vera Cruz, Mexico, after a day and night of resistance to American forces, gradually ceased opposition. The American forces took complete control of the city.
1939 — 75 years ago: Dr. R. Bruce Collins was reelected for a second term as president of the Lower Rock Island County Tuberculosis Association.
1964 — 50 years ago: Work is scheduled to begin this summer on construction of a new men's residence complex and an addition to the dining facilities at Westerlin Hall at Augustana College.
1989 — 25 years ago: Special Olympics competitors were triple winners at Rock Island High School Saturday. The participants vanquished the rain that fell during the competition, and some won their events; but most important, they triumphed over their own disabilities.




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