So this was year number two for me to attend The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manor. This annual event with over 7,000 illuminated pumpkins which have been cleaned, carved and lit by more than 1000 volunteers drawn hundreds of thousand of people from the end of September until the weekend after Thanksgiving. This year the event is running through November 24th.

My limited photo skills on my very dated cell phone do not do this amazing display of  pumpkins any justice, however they do give you an idea of what you will see. Without giving to much away there is a tunnel of pumpkins you walk through carved to create a night sky. You can walk across the Pumpkin Zee Bridge. New this year are the Zodiac signs. And of course the amazing Skeleton Carousel is a crowd favorite each year.

photo by PQ
photo by PQ

If you are planning to go, order you tickets ahead of time. This event typically sells out. There are plenty of tickets and times available but it is definitely something you don't want to leave to chance. If you wondering about crowding and parking, no worries. The people who run this event have it working like a well oiled machine. You won't feel rushed and you won't feel crowded as you walk along the lantern trails to each display. It is literally pumpkins everywhere you look with synchronized music and effects.

There are refreshments available for purchase. Everything from hot chocolate to craft beer and cider. There is also light fare snack available as well. I suggest you stop in Peekskill on your way down, Grab dinner (I high recommend Taco Dive Bar) and then you are just a quick 15 minute ride to Blaze. You will want to leave a little extra time in case the traffic is slow getting into the event.


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