Edmonton’s Halloween-themed event, Pumpkins After Dark, is an art installation that has been set up in Borden Park. This event is a walk-through of different pumpkin-carving designs featuring Disney, Marvel, and classic Halloween characters. Pumpkins After Dark runs every Thursday through Sunday until Oct. 31.
This event is a walk-through art installation, and has more than 6 thousand hand carved pumpkins. These pumpkins are grouped and arranged to create different sculptures, and these lit pumpkins recreate classic Halloween characters like Jack Skellington and non-Halloween characters like Wonderwoman and Captain Marvel.
The pumpkin carvings were impressive because of the amount of detail that was carved into them. Each art carving was put on a tall black board, with stacks of pumpkins carved individually to create an image. Some of these set-ups featured music — like the Jurassic Park and GhostBuster theme, which made the carvings more fun than they already were — There were also many photo opportunities, a couple of lunch trucks, and pumpkins for sale at the end of the walk.
Before even setting foot in the park to check out Pumpkins After Dark, I had to book my spot online — I recommend doing this beforehand, as spots fill up quickly. The ticket costs are $21.95 (not including additional taxes and fees) for adults. And $17.95 for children. This price did not include any treats or sweets. One downside was that the website did not include information about the additional $15 parking fee. There is no sign or website information about the parking fee, so it was an unfortunate surprise driving up to be informed by an employee that it would cost money. In an ideal world, this could be a cute date to take someone on, but unfortunately because of the cost, it is above the price range for many; It was $65 for two people to look at carved pumpkins.
Seeing the amount of work and intricate detail on the pumpkins was extremely impressive! There were carvings of skeletons on motorcycles and colourful calaveras. The most impressive sculpture that I saw was an artistic rendering of a giant octopus that covered about six pumpkin boards–the group I was behind collectively gasped once they all saw what it was. The carvings were made from craft pumpkins to remain in good condition.
Art students and small children would love this event because of the many different characters that have been carved. This art show is directed towards families and is entirely cashless. And right before the walk-through, there are a few food options like ice cream and cheesecake on a stick. There are also live pumpkin carvings and a booth to buy Minecraft swords. Despite the online bookings being only 15 minute intervals, the walk should take about an hour to go through (maybe longer if you want a Minecraft sword or to watch pumpkin carvings at the beginning).
While in line to get into the event, there were flashing pumpkins, which I personally found too much. There were no flashing lights for the main walk-through, so having the lights flash in people’s eyes while waiting to have their tickets scanned was annoying (and could have also put people at risk of a seizure). Also, Pumpkins After Dark is not wheelchair accessible, even though their website states, “Where possible, we have made adjustments for accessibility.”
So, final thought: Is Pumpkins After Dark worth the hype? Unfortunately, if you are someone who has a tight budget, I do not recommend going. If you are one of the few who has money to spend, or you are looking to impress a date, then I do recommend going! Despite the impressive art created through these pumpkins, it is not budget friendly.