2017-10-12 / News

New Halloween event kicks off this Saturday


Families enjoyed the free hayrides, cookies and cider during the 2016 pumpkin festival at the Jamestown Community Farm. This year’s edition is Saturday. Pumpkins will be on sale for $8. Families enjoyed the free hayrides, cookies and cider during the 2016 pumpkin festival at the Jamestown Community Farm. This year’s edition is Saturday. Pumpkins will be on sale for $8. For more than a quarter-century, the town’s parks department celebrated Halloween with its annual Jack-o’-Lantern Jog, a 5K race around the island that showcased runners in their holiday costumes.

This Halloween will be different. While the jog will be replaced by a nighttime road race, the department has added a series of events that is more inclusive for the whole family.

The inaugural 2017 Jack-o’- Lantern Jamboree is from 4-8 p.m. Oct. 31 at the recreation center, 41 Conanicus Ave. Centrally located downtown at East Ferry, the showcase of carved pumpkins will be open for children to view during their trick-or-treating in the village.

“Carving pumpkins is just a quintessential American thing to do as family,” said Andy Wade, recreation director. “There will be scary ones, funny ones, big ones and smalls ones.”

Leading up to Halloween, Wade has partnered with Bob Sutton at the Eldred Avenue community farm to offer pumpkins and carving tips. Although it wasn’t the perfect growing season for the plant, Sutton promises there will be plenty of pumpkins from which to choose.

According to Sutton, the farm had roughly 300 pumpkins but tough weather forced about 50 to wilt away because they ripened in August.

“There is nothing more worthless than a jack-o’-lantern pumpkin on Nov. 1,” Sutton quipped. “Slightly less worthless are pumpkins that ripen in August.”

Regardless, Sutton is inviting families to the farm from 1-4 p.m. Saturday to pick their pumpkins, enjoy cider and cookies, take hayrides, and learn to carve jack-o’- lanterns.

The event is free, although pumpkins will be on sale for $8 each. The first 100 children to register for the jamboree will receive a free reusable bag. The Jamestown Press also is providing free pumpkin-carving kits while they last.

From 5-8 p.m. Oct. 26, the rec center will host more carving lessons. Submissions can be dropped off there from 2-7 p.m. Oct. 25- 27 so they can be included in the Halloween jamboree. Everything is free.

“We’re just adding to the fall fun,” Wade said. “I wanted to have a nice community event near Halloween that tapped into the creativity that so many Jamestowners have.”

According to Sutton, families don’t have to buy pumpkins from the community farm to enter the jack-o’-lantern showcase. They can carve pumpkins purchased from anywhere; if families can’t make Saturday’s festival, he recommended George Neale’s pumpkins at Hodgkiss Farm on North Road.

— Tim Riel

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