The seventh annual Pumpkin Festival will take place Friday, October 13 and Saturday, October 14 at Penn State’s Arboretum.
Friday’s Jack-o’-Lantern festival will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and attendees will be able to purchase food from a variety of vendors. Saturday’s festivities will take place from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and will include family-friendly activities, food, and a performance from the band Bluegrass Redemption.
Volunteers expect to display more than one hundred Jack-o’-Lanterns at Saturday’s festival. There are seven age-based categories, and the top three entries for each age division will receive awards for the the best Penn State theme, best Arboretum theme, best traditional Jack-o’-Lantern, and best-in-show.
Andrew Gapinski — the 2011 Arboretum Director of Horticulture — based the original idea for the event around a similar event held in his Wisconsin hometown. Since then, generous donations from both the Vargo family and nearly 150 volunteers have helped turn the festival into what it is today.
“The festival featuring a Jack-o’-Lantern contest appealed to the Arboretum because it represented a way to bring both campus and community members together to celebrate autumn in a family-friendly environment and learn about the many specialty gardens and displays in the H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens,” Aboretum Marketing Coordinator Kate Reeder said.
Registration for the carving contest will take place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday. You can find more information about the event on the Arboretum’s Facebook page.