Glowing, smiling pumpkins everywhere

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By Kelly Dolejsi

The community will soon be treated to an evening of gleaming, glowing, ghostly, smoldering Jack-o-lanterns. Beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday, the Los Alamos Arts Council (LAAC) will present its 9th Annual Pumpkin Glow on the lawn at Fuller Lodge.
The event, sponsored by Smith’s, Village Arts, Los Alamos National Bank and MainStreet, will feature hundreds of pumpkins designed and carved by community members, from young children to professional artists. Creations of all sorts will glimmer in the night.
“There are so many and they are all unique,” said LAAC Executive Director Marlane Hamilton. “The first year we had some rock stars — I think Jimmy Hendrix — and we were all impressed with the detail of the design. If you like flowers you can’t help but love the fabulous orchids that have been done. They are beautiful! Disney characters are also special. There are so many others: haunted houses, scary faces, dragons and on and on. I think the sky is the limit when it comes to designs.”
Some highlights from Pumpkin Glows past include carvings of historical landmarks around the world, a tribute to the armed forces, Alfred-Hitchcock-themed pumpkins, a totem pole of carved Tiki patterns and a wide variety of creepy creatures created by local scouts.
“I love to watch the people who attend to see how excited they get about the different displays,” Hamilton said. “The young children particularly are fascinated by all of the various glowing, carved pumpkin faces. Sometimes they are just mesmerized as they squat down to get a closer look.”
The Pumpkin Glow started nearly a decade ago as an idea presented by former LAAC board president Lisa Lloyd, Hamilton said.
“She had seen a Pumpkin Glow on the East coast and brought the idea to the Arts Council,” she said. “It was well received by the community and has continued to this day. It’s hard to believe that this is the 9th anniversary.”
Everyone is encouraged to participate, even if you didn’t get a chance to attend one of several carving parties held in preparation for the event. The more people, the more pumpkins, the better the Glow.
Besides, what better motivation to get carving than knowing thousands will see your artwork?
Hamilton said the event generally draws close to 2,000 attendees. This year’s special animation surprise may draw an even larger crowd.
Individuals may drop off carved pumpkins on the Fuller Lodge lawn from noon-4 p.m. Saturday. The pumpkins will then be arranged in displays and lighted with candles for the viewing public to enjoy.
Pumpkins can be picked up at 9 p.m. for displaying at home on Halloween.
“This is a fun and fabulous family event,” Hamilton said. “Seeing hundreds of children in their Halloween costumes is spectacular. It is the sort of thing that makes living in a small town special.”
Please note that the Glow will be held the day after Trick or Treat on MainStreet. On Friday, along with many other local businesses, the LAAC will hand out candy to passing trick-or-treaters.
For more information, call the LAAC at 663-0477.