Some Impressive Pumpkin Carving

October 24, 2011 at 12:13 pm 1 comment

On Saturday evening, an hour or so before the Penn State-Northwestern game, I stopped by the Arboretum to check out its first-ever Pumpkin Festival. I figured there might be some fun jack-o-lanterns to photograph, and I wasn’t disappointed.

The last time I carved a pumpkin, I did it the standard way: hollow out the thing, then saw through the front to make some scary/comical eyes, a triangle-shaped nose, and about four teeth. I didn’t know there was any other way.

But the people who entered the Arboretum’s contest are waaaaaaay more creative than I am. There were some very cool jack-o-lanterns on display, including this one, which was judged Best in Show:


Jenny-LeThe creature is a “werecat” (like a werewolf but, well, a werecat instead). As I was photographing it, its creator happened to stop by: Her name is Jenny Le and she’s a senior at Bellefonte High School. That’s Jenny in the photo at left. She says she sculpted the werecat with a one-dollar pumpkin-carving kit she bought at Weis Markets—and, evidently, a lot more talent than I ever showed in high school art class.

The event was a lot of fun; it was held on the lawn of the H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens at the Arboretum, and it included free popcorn, apples, and hot chocolate, as well as a chance to stroll around and admire the carved pumpkins. The Arboretum had given away more than 500 pumpkins the previous week, and participants brought back 268 carved entries for judging and viewing.

There was a wide range of designs, from the standard scary-face pumpkins to ones that reflected the interests of their creators (one person, for example, carved the Colorado Rockies’ logo into the face of their pumpkin). There were some renderings of famous people, like Albert Einstein…


…and even Steve Jobs, done by Megan Wu:


(Note the iPod carved into the side of the pumpkin.)

I thought that this 3D rendering of a skull was exceptionally well done, and looked especially cool when lit up:


I have no idea how you would carve something like that. But it’s great.

You can see the full list of winners at the Arboretum’s Pumpkin Festival page, and I’ve posted an album of a dozen or so photos of the jack-o-lanterns on the magazine’s Facebook page. Enjoy!

Tina Hay, editor

Entry filed under: University Park. Tags: , , , .

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