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Rise of the Jack O'Lanterns

October 28, 2016

Every year on October 31, North Americans of all ages celebrate Halloween. For those not familiar with the festival, it is held on the eve of All Saints' Day, and mostly it is celebrated by children who dress in costume and go from door to door collecting candy or other treats from their neighbors. Many adults and teens get in on the fun with dress-up parties. 

A key feature of the Halloween festival is the carving of huge pumpkins, often called Jack O'Lanterns. One of the biggest and most popular shows featuring these beautifully carved pumpkins, lit from the inside by candles or other lights, is called "RISE of the Jack O'Lanterns". RISE will be held this year in New York, Los Angeles, New Jersey and Boston. There are thousands of hand-carved illuminated Jack O'Lanterns creatively arranged along a scenic walking path and set to a musical score. 

Some of the pumpkins used for these displays are huge, weighing around 50 kilograms! Artists spend 10 to 15 hours on each pumpkin to draw their images, then carve them to perfection. Visitors will see classic fan-favorites like life-sized dinosaurs, dragons, and safari animals, as well as a number of new structures featuring well-known characters from some favorite movies, including one that will make fans feel like they are in a galaxy far, far, away. 

The organizers of this year's event plan on carving and lighting 5,000 fresh real pumpkins each weekend! Hundreds of carvers work non-stop over a 2-day period before each weekend to get the job done. This is a nightmare to organize, what with trucking in the pumpkins, arranging for all the artists and then to display and light their work with such a short time in which to get it all done. In total, they will need to handle 40,650 real, big pumpkins. 

The pumpkin-carving Jack O'Lantern festival will be open to the public every weekend all through October.