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RISE of the Jack O’Lanterns Returns for Its 10th Season

By Juliette Valdez

Imagine a dark, exhilarating path illuminated by glowing carved pumpkins with designs from Minecraft to the Mona Lisa to Sesame Street characters and several thousand more. That’s what you’ll experience at RISE of the Jack O’Lanterns, which is ready for its tenth season of spooky fun at a new location in Wheatley Heights, New York.


This year the trail is approximately 4,200 feet long. Additionally, over 10,000 illuminated objects– including 7,000 intricately decorated pumpkins and 3,000 homemade lights–will be on display.


Alice Clancy, the event manager since 2018, said, “This year, there’s more videos on the trail and a lot more music on the trail than ever before, and my favorites are called art pumpkins– a big pumpkin with one design in contrast to the large structures of little ones.”


For example there was a large pumpkin displaying Goku, One Punch Man and Luffy, three popular anime figures. There are also about 50 themes, everything from pop culture to Halloween movies. They also brought back their prizewinner pumpkins, which are 100-plus pounds each. Each one is hand-painted and carved by artists. In addition, there are over 70 new displays.


On the trail on a recent night, customer Jaylene Aponte said, “It was not too much walking and pretty interactive. I would definitely go again.” She added that her favorite displays were Minecraft and Roblox.


Because the pumpkins used for this operation are the real deal, they need to be replaced every couple of days. So there are also carve tents along the trailside to give onlookers a sneak peek of the carving process. And USDAN Summer Camp for the Arts, RISE's newest partner, is offering food and beverage services. Make sure you get to try the hot chocolate, hot cider, popcorn and donuts.


Join the festivities at 185 Colonial Springs Road in Wheatley Heights. But hurry to buy tickets because many dates, including Halloween, are already sold out. Prices range from $20-$40 depending on when they’re ordered. There are 10th season celebration discounts for early birds. Note that you can only order online prior to an appointment at www.jackolanterns.com.

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