Local artists are displaying artistic talents during an annual pumpkin carving tradition that will be on display in Hopewell Township.
Every fall season for the last four years, artists have gathered at Woolsey Park to create detailed images and art pieces from massive pumpkins.
This year is the fifth installment of this showcase and contest, which is a part of the Hopewell Valley Arts Council’s weekend of festivities at Woolsey Park from Oct. 11-14.
“We had 4,000 people attend our fall festival last year. This is our primary fundraiser of the year,” said Carol Lipson, board president of Hopewell Valley Arts Council. “We pay our artists to carve these pumpkins, so the admission fees go to help our programming for the year but also to supporting the artists who create these pumpkins.”
Donated by Harbat Farms in Hopewell, 40 massive pumpkins weighing in between over 150 pounds are going to be carved and will be judged the day before the weekend festival.
“We want the community to come out and support it and show the artists they appreciate their talents and the arts. We will give the artists electricity and then the pumpkins are electrified becoming a true spectacle,” Lipson said.
Lipson used an example from the 2018 pumpkin carve to describe what the artists create during the event.
“One artist last year, put a mirror inside of the pumpkin and carved the back inside of the pumpkin. He was creating Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. When you looked in you saw the Dr. Jekyll and it was just crazy how it all turned out,” Lipson said.
The council added live local music as something new to this year’s festival. The musical performances will include BoXoRox, Mixed Nuts, Recklesstown, Uncle Skunk and dance and vocal performances by students of The Pennington Studio.
Other festivities during the weekend include, storytelling around fire pits, pumpkin sales and painting, an art show and sale, a hay bale maze and playground.
“We make Woolsey Park into a whole festival ground. One thing we are trying this year is that we will be having the festival also on Columbus Day,” Lipson said. “So the School of Rock in Hamilton will play that day and everyone is a child that day so whether you are an adult or not, admission is $5.”
She said she hopes people takeaway from this event how talented the artists are in the community.
“They need to be supported and acknowledged. We celebrate the art in the everyday and what could be more everyday than carving a pumpkin,” Lipson said. “We want people to challenge themselves when they carve their own pumpkins at home.”
For more information about the fall festival and pumpkin carve, visit www.hvartscouncil.org.