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Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns at Descanso Gardens

food, tour, hollywood

In recent years Halloween has become much more than a one-night holiday for children.  It seems that those of us who like all things pumpkin-related, scary movies and haunted houses, costumes in all shapes and sizes, candy corn and miniature candy bars are in luck.  Halloween starts showing up in local stores in September and gives us a full month to enjoy (or not) the festivities leading up to October 31.  When I was a teacher I really enjoyed celebrating Halloween at school, and even more so when the staff got into the spirit too.  Ask me sometime about the year my teaching buddies dressed up as “demented prom queens.”  But back to the topic of this blog.

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Pumpkin carving has also seemed to elevate in recent years with more and more elaborate carvings showing up on darkened doorsteps.  This year some local artists are showcasing their talents at a special month-long event taking place at Descanso Gardens in La Canada Flintridge.  Visitors will walk through the park after nightfall, taking in the spooky beauty of 5,000 hand carved jack o’lanterns that have been placed artistically in themed displays (such as movies, animals, pop culture and more).  It’s really something best experienced in person, but I couldn’t resist sharing a few photos to give you a basic idea.

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With appropriate background music and colored lighting, this was very well done and we marveled at the varied and intricate carvings.  There were families, couples, teenagers, some in costume, some not.  You are invited to walk through at your leisure, and we took a solid 30 minutes to appreciate all the displays.  We did spend time perusing the (slightly pricey) food and drink available in the Beer Garden and made some fun purchases in the Garden gift shop.  Beware, ticket holders are given specific instructions for parking (free) and arrival.  The event runs Wednesday through Sunday, ending on November 2.

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By Trish Procetto