Organizers of the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular weren’t kidding when they named their event a “spectacular.” It’s the only word to describe the glittering display of pumpkins dotting the trail at Iroquois Park.
The Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular, which celebrates its 9th annual event this year, fills Iroquois Park with 5,000 glowing, hand-carved pumpkins around a changing theme. Previous themes include, “A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Magical Places,” from 2020 + “The Four Seasons,” in 2019.
The event began in Oxford, Massachusetts in 1988 by a company called Passion for Pumpkins Inc. Passion for Pumpkins also runs spectaculars in Rhode Island + Minnesota in addition to the event in Louisville.
This year’s Jacko Spectaco revolves around a theme everyone has a connection to — television — taking guests through TV history via the art of carved pumpkins. We started with the 1950s + worked into the present day, walking past glowing renditions of some networks biggest shows like, “Breaking Bad,” and “The Sopranos.”
Of the 5,000 pumpkins, we’re highlighting 10 that stood out.. Go check out the other 4,990 any night of the week up to Halloween night..
Pro tip: buy your ticket in advance. The event regularly sells out, especially on the weekend.
The contrast in this rendering of the DC superhero is what stuck out to us as especially spectacular. Passion for Pumpkins’ artists have 25+ years of experience carving realistic pumpkins like this one.
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
“Are You Afraid of the Dark” offered the 90s nostalgia we crave. The horror anthology show originally premiered on YTV, a Canadian network, in Oct. 1990. It was later picked up by Nickelodeon 1991 + a recent revival of the show aired in 2019, with a 2nd season coming out in February of this year.
We caught the royal prince of pop right as the lights turned purple. Prince appeared in the MTV section, near a pumpkin carved to look like the network’s iconic flag-bearing astronaut.
Not only was the pumpkin version of this Mayan ruin carved to perfection, it was staged next to a larger version of the real thing. DYK: the temple at Chichén Itzá features 365 steps — with 91 steps on each of its 4 sides — which represent the days in a calendar year.
You’re gonna need a bigger boat. We found this Great White Shark pumpkin in the Discovery Channel section sitting next to a large inflatable octopus.
Keeping it nautical, we came across this “Moana” pumpkin, based off the 2016 movie. Moana is officially the 12th Disney princess + we loved the look of determination on her face in this pumpkin.
Inspector Gadget cartoon
Do do do do Inspector Gadget — we bet you can hear the opening song to the 1983 cartoon in your head now. Seeing the face of the world-famous cyborg police inspector inspired some serious nostalgia, especially for the live-action remake starring Matthew Broderick.
Game of Thrones
The pumpkin version of Daenerys Targaryen from “Game of Thrones,” stopped us in our tracks. We were especially impressed by the quality of the lines in the dragon.
Seeing our favorite Nickelodeon characters depicted in their Halloween costumes brought a smile to our faces. Pictured here are characters from “Rugrats,” “Spongebob Squarepants,” + “Hey Arnold.”
Beauty and the Beast
Who can deny a tale as old as time? This Disney classic made its way into hearts first on VHS + now on the side of a big orange gourd. The beauty and the beast danced their way into our hearts again in 2017 with Emma Watson as Belle.