The Arboretum at Penn State hosts pumpkin festival Oct. 14-20

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A pumpkin-carving contest and lighted jack-o'-lantern display will highlight The Arboretum at Penn State's second Pumpkin Festival, Oct. 14-20.

Festivities will take place in the arboretum's H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens, at the corner of Bigler Road and Park Avenue on the University Park campus. Admission is free.

Festival activities begin with a pumpkin give-away for contest entrants from 1 to 6:30 p.m. on Sunday and Monday, Oct. 14 and 15. More than 700 pumpkins will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Participants also may use their own pumpkins.

Jack-o'-lanterns (one per person) may be registered for the contest from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18, and from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19. There will be seven categories: Ages 2-4, Ages 5-7, Ages 8-10, Ages 11-13, Ages 14-17, Penn State Student, and Adult.

Registration will be held in a small tent adjacent to the parking lot of the Smith Botanic Gardens.

The first 350 people to enter a jack-o'-lantern will receive a gift certificate for an ice cream cone from the Penn State Berkey Creamery.

A panel of campus and community leaders will award ribbons for the best three jack-o'-lanterns in each category, the best-in-show, the best jack-o'-lantern face and the best Penn State theme between 6 and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20.

Contest entries will be lighted and placed on display in the event lawn of the Smith Botanic Gardens from 6 to 10 p.m. Oct. 19-20. The Arboretum at Penn State invites students and local residents to view the lighted jack-o'-lantern display.

On Saturday, Oct. 20, the public also is welcome to explore the gardens. In addition to many plants with fall interest (foliage, fruits and bark), there will be seasonal displays throughout the gardens, including mums and up to 17 varieties of ornamental gourds.

Refreshments will be served at the Overlook Pavilion from 4 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 20. Ribbons may be picked up from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 21.
To learn about the contest rules and the festival, visit the arboretum's website at

Media Contacts: 
Last Updated October 11, 2012