The Arboretum at Penn State to host pumpkin festival Oct. 8 and Oct. 13-14

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Creative pumpkin carvers will craft scores of imaginative jack-o'-lanterns and compete for ribbons as The Arboretum at Penn State hosts its annual Pumpkin Festival, Oct. 8 and Oct. 13-14.

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 giveaway for contest entrants from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 8. Approximately 1,000 pumpkins will be available on a first-come, first-served basis while the supply lasts.

Contest participants also may use their own pumpkins.

Jack-o'-lanterns may be registered for the contest from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 13, at the Overlook Pavilion in the Smith Botanic Gardens. 

On the evening of Friday, Oct. 13, a judging panel of campus and community leaders will award ribbons for the best three jack-o'-lanterns in each age category, the best-in-show, the best jack-o'-lantern face, the best Penn State theme and the best Arboretum theme.

During the day on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 13-14, the public is welcome to explore seasonal displays throughout the gardens. Hundreds of lighted jack-o'-lanterns will be displayed on the event lawn until 9 p.m. both evenings, and food vendors will be on site as well. Festivalgoers are invited to bring flashlights.

From 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, festival activities include hands-on family crafts, games and musical performances. The band Bluegrass Redemption will play from 5 to 8 p.m.

Jack-o'-lanterns and ribbons may be picked up from 10 a.m. to noon on Sunday, Oct. 15.

To learn about the contest rules and the festival, visit the Arboretum's website.

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Last Updated October 03, 2017