Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Great Jack O' Lantern Blaze

We are fortunate to have the phenomenal Jack O'Lantern Blaze, a night-time walk-through experience showcasing over 4,000 intricately carved lit pumpkins located in the Hudson Valley on the grounds of Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson, NY. A couple of years ago I took the kids and one of my sisters to the show. These tickets are sold out very quickly and hundreds were turned away last year.

The first four pictures are from the Hudson Valley website. With music and sound effects setting the scene, thousands of people enjoy this unparalleled experience. The range of designs carved into these pumpkins is quite astounding - dinosaurs, abstract designs, skeletons, birds, an aquarium, pirates, a cemetery and so on can be seen in themed areas such as Egypt, Greece, Jurassic Park, Undersea Aquarium and Pirates Cove.


The following pics are from my iphone taken so they are not of a good quality but they certainly give you an idea of the skill level and creativity of those responsible for putting together this show. The pumpkins are scooped, carved and lit by more than 1,000 volunteers. 

Some of the pumpkins are real and some are "art pumpkins" but they are each individually carved and can weigh anywhere from 5 to 50 pounds! Carving of the art pumpkins begins in the month of June and the real ones need to be replaced several times during the run of the show which is on for about 5 weeks. It takes 15 to 20 volunteers to light the pumkins each night of the show starting about 3 hours before it opens.

The lighting, the music, the crowds, all contribute to a highly charged halloween experience which is not to be missed. If you are ever visiting the NYC or even the tri-state area in the month of October area The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze is a must but tickets should be purchased in advance to avoid disappointment. A jaw-dropping experience which, although now part considered a fall festival, truly does "pay tribute to Halloween and Sleepy Hollow Country"!

For pumpkin recipes, a downloadable template and tips on carving, go here.

Is this something you would enjoy? Do you  have a similar experience where you live? I would love to hear about it.

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