Volunteers can carve some time to help Great Westerville Pumpkin Glow

MARLA K. KUHLMAN
ThisWeekNEWS.com
Various pumpkin carvings and Halloween decorations adorn a walking trail at Heritage Park during the inaugural Great Westerville Pumpkin Glow event Oct. 23, 2019, in Westerville. The event included a hay-bale maze, inflatables, food trucks, Halloween-themed activities and games.

The Great Westerville Pumpkin Glow is returning the last two weekends in October, and volunteers are needed to help bring the magical event to life.

Mike Phillips, recreation and operations superintendent for the Westerville Parks and Recreation Department, said the community's newest fall-favorite tradition is returning as a drive-thru experience Oct. 21 through Oct. 25 and Oct. 28 through Nov. 1 at Heritage Park, 60 N. Cleveland Ave.

He said thousands of pumpkins would be carved by parks and recreation staff, community volunteers, students and professional artists prior to each drive-thru event.

Individuals or groups interested in volunteering for pumpkin carving in a socially-distanced atmosphere, may register at westerville.org/volunteer or by contacting Phillips at michael.phillips@ westerville.org or 614-901-6552. Registration begins Monday, Sept. 28.

The carving station will be at the maintenance building at the park. Pumpkin-carving dates are Oct. 18 through Oct. 20 and Oct. 25 through Oct. 27. Times are from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. Sundays.

Toni Schorling, promotions coordinator for the parks and recreation department, said about 15 volunteers are needed per time slot, but no one would be turned away.

She said volunteers must be 16 years of age and older, unless accompanied by an adult. All volunteers will receive free admission to the event.

Schorling said the pumpkin-carving sessions are the perfect way to use creativity and imagination to create interesting pumpkins that will be seen by thousands of people.

She said carving utensils would be supplied, but volunteers may bring their own if they wish.

For $15 per vehicle, event guests will wind through a trail of artfully created scenes featuring thousands of etched and carved pumpkins with whimsical lighting effects.

Schorling said there will be new scenes and some popular features from last year.

"Most of the large displays will remain the same over the two weekends," she said. "We have some fun surprises in store with some large-scale, fresh pumpkin sculptures that will change each week."

Some of last year's most popular features were the octopus sculpture and the jellyfish, Disney characters with Woody and Buzz, the caterpillar sculpture and the Pumpkin Portrait Gallery, Schorling said.

Tickets for the Pumpkin Glow must be purchased at westerville.org/pumpkinglow.

The event premiered in 2019 as a walk-through display.

Westerville parks and recreation staffers hope to resume the walk-through event in 2021.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla