This year’s theme is Cosmic for the pumpkin carving event. (Natali Leduc/Special to The News)

This year’s theme is Cosmic for the pumpkin carving event. (Natali Leduc/Special to The News)

Final year of Pumpkinotron to begin Oct. 22

Artist-in-residence expecting over 80 carved pumpkins this year

The final year for the Pumpkinotron through Maple Ridge’s artist-in-residence, Natali Leduc, will begin this October.

The Pumpkinotron 440, part of Celebrate the Night and Culture Days, will be open to the public starting this Friday, Oct. 22 until Oct. 27. Each night, the pumpkin display will be lit from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Fern Crescent residence at 23740 Fern Crescent, between the Hot Rocks and Cross Cabin Park/Davidson’s Pool. Parking will be available at the Lapidary Club.

“This year, more than half of the pumpkins were grown especially for this project by people in the community to whom I gave seeds at the beginning of the summer. A lot of them come from Henry Hut. Some of the pumpkins even grew in the A-Maze-A-Tron 2200. That’s a great example of one project “feeding” another one,” said Leduc, who has been leading another community project A-Maze-A-Tron 2200, an edible maze.

READ MORE: Walk, eat, get lost in this edible maze in Maple Ridge

Leduc has seen a sharp increase in participation this year and is expecting over 80 carved pumpkins from participants.

“The rate of participation is almost 3 times more than last year. Note that it’s not a contest, it’s an installation done by the community, for the beauty of it. While everybody is carving their own pumpkin, they come together to create something bigger than the individuals. Just like a community is bigger than its members,” she said.

This year, the setting will be different since the lawn is still occupied by the A-Maze-A-Tron 2200. However, Leduc didn’t want to give away the surprise and instead wants people to come, see and be surprised.

“Visitor should be looking forward a unique experience. Photos are wonderful but, as for many other things, they don’t replace the experience of being there. Last year was magical. I hope it will be this year too,” said Leduc.

”It might rain every day but that will be part of the experience. Although it was cold last year, those who came didn’t regret it. Still in August, someone told me his sons were still talking about last year’s Pumpkinotron 340 and this year is a new model – 440. You can see the pumpkins during the day, but they really come to life at night, once they are lit.”

ALSO READ: Maple Ridge to light up this October for its annual Celebrate the Night event

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