Pumpkin to talk about: Community jack-o’-lantern display Oct. 23-31


The gazebo and pumpkins alike light up the week leading up to Halloween at the James Whitcomb Riley Boyhood Home gardens.

Maribeth Vaughn / Daily Reporter

GREENFIELD – Calling all carvers: your pumpkin work of art is needed to fright and delight the community.

The third annual Festival of Jack-o’-Lanterns begins this Sunday, Oct. 23 at the James Whitcomb Riley Boyhood Home gardens 250 W. Main St., Greenfield.

Around 50 pumpkins graced the lawn of the garden in each of the last two years. It’s free to enter and with prizes for best carvings, organizer Carol Barrett said she’s hoping for even more entries this year.

The annual, free display is a joint effort of the Riley home and Hancock County Arts.

“We started it just because of the inspiration from the Louisville Jack-o’-Lantern (Spectacular), and when we saw the artistic ability of what they create down there we just thought we could bring it to Greenfield, to the Arts Council and involve the whole city in something that’s creative and entertaining for the families,” said Barrett, gallery and special events chair for HCA.

The display is lit each night, with a warm fire glow from each pumpkin from 7-9 p.m. leading up to Halloween, Oct. 23-31.

Those who want to enter a pumpkin simply need to drop it off between 2-5 p.m. Sunday at the gardens.

Barrett said the display has been a hit the last two years; people enjoy bringing the whole family, or just strolling as a couple during a date night. The Lizabuth Ann Kitchen is open each evening to warm up and enjoy refreshments. Newly-paved walkways around the gardens make for safer walking conditions, Barrett added.

Each pumpkin is numbered so spectators can vote for their favorite. People’s Choice and age-category winners earn gift cards from local businesses.

“We give prizes for different categories, so the child age groups will design simpler pumpkins but as you get to the junior and senior ones you can just watch the creativity grow and all the different carving techniques and the instruments there are to carve pumpkins,” Barrett said. “There is so much inspiration out on pinterest you can see what they can do and emulate those.”