Community

The ethereal glow that radiates from thousands of freshly carved pumpkins is coming back to Iroquois Park this week.

The annual Jack-O’-Lantern Spectacular will put more than 5,000 pumpkins on display at any given time throughout the park from Oct. 8 through Nov. 1, said Erika Nelson, special events coordinator for the city.

This year’s event boasts the Shakespeare-inspired theme “All The World’s A Stage.”

Some 100 of the pumpkins will be intricately carved by local artists to feature scenes from award-winning films and Broadway plays. Others will feature more localized delicacies, including college basketball, Muhammad Ali and the Kentucky Derby.

“The whole thing together is beautiful,” Nelson said.

Some of the pumpkins are expected to weigh thousands of pounds. Others will be traditional jack-o’-lanterns.

Spookiness is not the idea. Still, the event is held in the woods of Iroquois Park — at night.

The trail is about a quarter of a mile long. The Iroquois Amphitheater can provide one or more escorts for the entire trail for visitors who use a wheelchair or have other mobility needs, according to the event’s website.

Event gates will stay open from dusk to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from dusk to midnight on Friday and Saturday, Nelson said. Tickets will range in price from $9 to $15 depending on time and type.

Passion for Pumpkins Inc., which produces the event, has been in the jack-o’-lantern business for nearly 25 years and has put on shows throughout the Northeast. In fact, the events put on by the group were deemed a “Local Legacy” by the Library of Congress in 1999.

Jacob Ryan is a reporter for the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.