In the last week of September and the first week of October, Pumpkins After Dark is serving up the ultimate fall event.
This is the first time Edmonton will play host to the family-friendly event, which initially began in Toronto and now has several locations across Canada.
“It’s really just a celebration of everything fall and Halloween,” says Kevin Blackburn, president of Lantern Events Inc., the company that creates the event. “So, if you like fall, if you like pumpkins, if you like Halloween, it’s certainly the place you need to check out.”
“Try and picture 6,000 plus hand-carved pumpkins along the pathways of Borden Park that are illuminated by lights… at night,” Blackburn continues. “That’s what it looks like.”
Pumpkins After Dark is almost like the fall and Halloween-themed version of Candy Cane Lane, explains Blackburn.
At the event, guests will be able to walk through the park and take in all the carved pumpkins. Fog machines, sound effects, and special effects lighting will set the scene as guests walk through the park. With glowing pumpkins at every turn, the event makes for some great, Instagram-ready photo-ops.
And if guests want a behind-the-scenes glimpse into pumpkin carving, they can also watch several pumpkin carving demonstrations.
The event includes a variety of fall treats, pumpkin spice lattes, and food from local food trucks to sample. Guests will also be able to purchase pumpkins and other merchandise to take home.
Blackburn explains that the pumpkins on display are a combination of real and foam gourds. The foam pumpkins are the same size and depth of regular pumpkins, and traditional pumpkin-carving tools are used to carve them.
“All of the artwork is all designed, drawn, assembled and carved by Canadian artists,” says Blackburn. “Everything is hand carved — the entire event — which is why it takes about eight to 12 artists an entire year to carve out [the pumpkins] for each show.”
Blackburn enjoys many parts of the event, but some of his favourite parts are seeing the initial light test of a brand-new show and hearing feedback from guests.
“Standing at the exit door of Pumpkins After Dark in Calgary last year and asking people how their experience was, was awesome. People just really enjoyed it. They thought the art was mind-blowing and I think interacting with the crowds and just being part of the whole thing is my favourite.”
Blackburn plans to bring the event back to Edmonton next year, but with a completely new design to keep Pumpkins After Dark fresh and interesting for guests.
Tickets are $21.95 for adults and $17.95 for youth. A family pack is also available for $74.80.
Tickets are limited and selling out fast. When Blackburn ran the event in Calgary last year, almost 80,000 people attended, and he is hoping to see similar numbers in Edmonton this year.
Head to pumpkinsafterdark.com/edmonton/tickets-edmonton/ for more information and to purchase tickets.