The Arboretum at Penn State hosts 2018 Pumpkin Festival Oct. 14, 19-20

October 11, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The 2018 Pumpkin Festival, hosted by The Arboretum at Penn State on Oct. 14 and 19-20, will feature a pumpkin-carving contest and lighted jack-o'-lantern display.

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.

Events begin on Sunday, Oct. 14, with a pumpkin give-away for contest entrants from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Approximately 1,000 pumpkins will be available 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. 19, at the Overlook Pavilion in the Smith Botanic Gardens.

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 pop culture theme, the best Penn State theme and the best Arboretum theme.

During the day on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 19-20, 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. Festival goers are invited to bring flashlights.

On Saturday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., festival activities include hands-on family crafts, a magician, a hula hoopster and strolling musicians. The Nittany Valley Wranglers will perform bluegrass music from 5 to 8 p.m. 

Jack-o'-lanterns and ribbons may be picked up by their owners from 10 a.m. to noon. on Sunday, Oct. 21.

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

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated October 15, 2018