Pumpkin Nights Begin Friday the 13th

By Holly Vasic

Looking for something other than a haunted house to celebrate Halloween with this year? Pumpkin Nights opens Friday, Oct. 13 at the Utah State Fair Park.

Grab your family or friends, put on your costume and come see over 3,000 carved pumpkins across multiple displays to experience Pumpkin Nights. This outdoors spooktacular half-mile walk-through will have the same exhibits visitors fell in love with at the original Pumpkin Nights in Minnesota, such as a coral reef — including UV bubbles— and a pumpkin mariachi band celebrating Dia de los Muertos.

“I think the reason why I like all these lands so much is because they are like a 180 experience, we call it, so where there [are] pumpkins on the ground…pumpkins at your height, and…pumpkins above your head,” said Chelsea Kasen, Pumpkin Nights event director. One of Kasen’s favorites is the Harry Potter set up, “We hang 200 pumpkins overhead, and then have about 100 pumpkins on the ground lining the path. It’s like a nod to the Great Hall” she explained.

If that wasn’t enough, there will also be food, drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and family-friendly activities, many of them free. A big screen surrounded with hay seating will be playing “Harry Potter” nightly at 7 p.m. and “The Nightmare Before Christmas” on Fridays and Saturdays at 10 p.m. Even though this is a Halloween event, all the rated-R jump scares, blood and so on has been left out and replaced with plenty of fog, coffins, skeletons and of course, pumpkins.

If reading this is inspiring you to carve your own pumpkin, Kasen recommends trying out a product called “Funkins” which are foam pumpkins. “Prepping this year was working with the foam pumpkins. Luckily we didn’t have to do anything with the pumpkin guts” Kasen said. She also suggested using an orange marker when planning out your design, making the outline not so noticeable if the design changes as you carve.

Pumpkin Nights will be open Friday and Saturday nights from 6:30 pm to midnight starting Oct. 13, and Sunday through Thursday from 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm until Oct. 29. Parking will be located at the Fair Park lot on 1000 W. and 200 N. for $2 during the weekdays and $5 on the weekends. Tickets can be purchased at www.pumpkinnights.com and there are deals for families  certain nights of the week, so be sure to check those out before you buy. Regular adult tickets are $20, Seniors and kids (4-12) are $16 and under kids under four are free. You must select an entrance time when you buy, where you will have a 30-minute window to enter. Remember costumes are encouraged, but no props or weapons please.

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