Halloween in America borrows from traditions and celebrations across the world. European immigrants brought along many of their festivities for the eve of All Hallows Day or All Saints Day. There was bobbing for apples, dressing in costumes and of course, carving pumpkins.
Likewise, the Los Alamos Arts Council (LAAC) drew inspiration for its Pumpkin Glow event from another festivity. After experiencing a similar event on the East Coast, LAAC Board Member Lori Dauelsberg and her sister Lisa Lloyd decided they wanted to create a display of lit carved jack-o-lanterns in Los Alamos.
It was simply named the Pumpkin Glow and this event has been a staple in Los Alamos’s Halloween festivities for 14 years. LAAC hosts its event as part of MainStreet’s Halloweekend. This year, the event will be held 6-9 p.m. Saturday outside of Fuller Lodge. The jack-o-lanterns featuring everything from toothy grins to iconic film characters will be lit and displayed for the public to view. Typically, about 2,000 people come to see the carved creations.
LAAC can’t put on this event alone. It needs the community’s participation to make it a success. As a result, LAAC will host its annual pumpkin carving party 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Smith’s Marketplace. Patterns, carving tools and pumpkins donated by Smith’s will be available to anyone interested in carving a pumpkin for the evening’s display. People can also drop off pumpkins noon to 4 p.m. to be displayed during the Pumpkin Glow.
If any one wants to take home their pumpkin after the Pumpkin Glow, his/her name must be put on the pumpkin and it must be picked up promptly at 9 p.m., after that time, carved pumpkins will be donated or tossed.
Just before the Pumpkin Glow, a Masquerade Recital will be held inside Fuller Lodge at 4 p.m. The Los Alamos Music Teachers’ Association presents costumed music students performing spooky Halloween pieces. The program, a Halloween tradition, is free to the public.
After the recital and during the Pumpkin Glow MainStreet provides a band and costume dance party inside Fuller Lodge.