Posts tagged ‘jack-o-lanterns’

This Weekend: Pumpkin Fest at the Arboretum

pumpkinfestI’ll be the first to admit that my photos from the Arboretum’s Pumpkin Fest don’t hold a candle (pun intended) to Tina’s photos from years past. And yeah, I realize that un-lighted jack-o-lanterns, photographed on an especially sunny morning, aren’t all that impressive. But here’s my excuse: The third annual pumpkin-carving contest is still accepting submissions, and I figured our artistic (and knife-dextrous) readers would appreciate the chance to join in. You can enter a carved pumpkin at the Arboretum by 4 p.m. Friday (you’ll see a registration table at the Overlook Pavilion); there’s more details here.

And not to deter anyone from entering, but from what I’ve seen already, the competition looks pretty stiff. There were a handful of creative Penn State-themed pumpkins, an alien pumpkin, a turtle, and even a pumpkin minion (those cute little yellow guys from Despicable Me). I can’t wait to see how awesome these creations look in the dark.

To see for yourself, head to the Arboretum this weekend: Lighted jack-o-lanterns will be on display Friday from 6 to 9 p.m., and on Saturday, music, crafts, refreshments, and other fall festivities begin at 4 p.m., with the jack-o-lanterns on display from 6 to 9 p.m.

Mary Murphy, associate editor 

October 17, 2013 at 3:18 pm Leave a comment

A Gallery of Jack-o-Lanterns


This carving by grad student Han-Wei Shih won Best in Show.

I get the impression that the Arboretum’s second annual pumpkin festival was a success, judging by the more than 300 jack-o-lanterns that people entered and by the steady stream of people checking out the pumpkins on Friday and Saturday night.

A couple of the jack-o-lanterns that stood out for me stood out for the judges, too, apparently. The pumpkin above, with its top carved into a flower to adorn its “hair,” was judged Best in Show. A Penn State grad student in plant biology, Han-Wei Shih, was the artist behind it.

The turtle I showed you earlier ended up winning first prize in the Adult category; it was the work of Beth Hendershot. Second prize in that category went to a Hogwarts-esque castle scene by Corrine Webster, below:

Below is a slide show of some of the pumpkins that caught my eye, including a couple of owls, Ariel from The Little Mermaid, Blue from Blue’s Clues, and a Joe Paterno-themed pumpkin. There’s also an entry in which art education grad student Kevin Slivka used two pumpkins to create a skeletal arm and hand—pretty clever.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tina Hay, editor

October 22, 2012 at 10:13 am 1 comment

Pumpkin Artistry


A panorama of carved pumpkins. Click to see larger.

I stopped over to the Arboretum last evening to check out this year’s edition of the pumpkin festival, and—as was the case last year—saw some pretty creative and artistic jack-o-lanterns. I’ll try to post a gallery of photos before the weekend is out, but here are a few that caught my eye. This turtle, carved by Beth Hendershot, showed some great craftsmanship:


And it starts to look pretty cool when lit up at dusk:


Here’s a rather interesting face carved by a Penn State student, Shin Han-Wei:


And here are two jack-o-lanterns that got a lot of oohs and ahhs when lit up last night. First, a parody of Ecce Homo, the Spanish painting that was infamously “restored” this past August. It was carved by Nathaniel Hromnak:


And finally, here’s a tribute to Arboretum director Kim Steiner, credited to Ray Marsh and the Penn State campaign communications office (April Scimio ’84 of that office did a lot of the craftwork on it):


The jack-o-lanterns will be lit up for display again tonight from 6 to 10 pm at the Arboretum. Admission is free.

Tina Hay, editor

October 20, 2012 at 3:55 pm 1 comment

Calling All Pumpkin Carvers

A (very) small sampling of last year’s entries.

I was psyched to see that the Arboretum at Penn State is bringing back its Pumpkin Festival that was such a hit (and such a great photo opportunity) last year.

This coming Sunday and Monday, anyone who wants to try their hand at carving a pumpkin can pick one up at the Arboretum—or buy their own elsewhere, if the Arboretum’s supply of 750 runs out. Carve it, brring it back next Thursday or Friday, and the resulting jack-o-lanterns will be lit up and on display next Friday and Saturday (the 19th and 20th). There’ll be judging on Saturday.

I don’t think I’ve ever done much more with a pumpkin than use a sharp kitchen knife to create a basic face. One year I did three small pumpkins as “mad,” “sad,” and “glad” and thought I was pretty clever. That was before I saw the pumpkins at the Arboretum’s pumpkin festival last year. There was some amazing artistry; you can see a photo album from last year on the magazine’s Facebook page.

More information about the pumpkin festival, including a timetable and the rules, can be found on the Arboretum’s website.

October 12, 2012 at 8:52 am 2 comments

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