Campus Life

The Arboretum at Penn State hosts pumpkin festival Oct. 5-11

Festival activities begin with a pumpkin give-away for contest entrants beginning at 1 p.m. and continuing while the supply lasts on Sunday, Oct. 5. Approximately 1,000 pumpkins will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A pumpkin-carving contest and lighted jack-o'-lantern display will highlight The Arboretum at Penn State's fourth Pumpkin Festival, Oct. 5-11.

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 beginning at 1 p.m. and continuing while the supply lasts on Sunday, Oct. 5. Approximately 1,000 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 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 9, and from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 10. 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.

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, the best Penn State theme, and the best Arboretum theme between 5 and 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 10.

Contest entries will be lighted and placed on display in the event lawn of the Smith Botanic Gardens from 6 to 9 p.m., Oct. 10-11. The Arboretum at Penn State invites students and local residents to view the lighted jack-o'-lantern display.

On Saturday, Oct. 11, 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 ornamental gourds and cornstalks.

Family activities will be available in the new Childhood’s Gate Children’s Garden, on the event lawn, and at other locations in the gardens from 4 p.m. until dusk.

Jack-o’-lanterns and ribbons may be picked up from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 12.

To learn about the contest rules and the festival, visit the arboretum's website at http://www.arboretum.psu.edu/index.html.

Last Updated October 02, 2014

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