Years ago, Descanso Gardens in La Canada Flintridge had a bright idea: Create an event highlighted by jack-o’-lanterns. The event has grown into a popular pumpkin party and a place to prepare for Halloween festivities.
Descanso Gardens is hosting Carved, a 1-mile walk through the Camelia Forest and Oak Grove filled with glowing jack-o’-lanterns, for five nights in October. Carved, which features thousands of professionally carved pumpkins, opens Oct. 23 and runs through Oct. 27.
Of the more than 1,000 jack-o’-lanterns, about 75 will be 100-pound pumpkins, themed after superheroes and famous movie monsters, carved by professional local artists. There will also be seasonal snacks, live carving demonstrations and special surprises.
“Carved was designed to give visitors of all ages a festive and fun evening at Halloween time,” said Descanso Gardens Executive Director Juliann Rooke. “Not only does Carved showcase the season, but it’s also a unique experience in the Gardens.”
As part of the Carved event, Descanso Gardens invites visitors to watch the pumpkins make the transformation into jack-o’-lanterns in the Van de Kamp Hall the week prior to opening night.
“These are some of the most talented illustrators and sculptors we’ve ever met, and it shows in the quality of work they produce,” said Mike Pollock, executive producer of the event.
RISE of the Jack-O’-Lanterns, produced by Pollock and Thomas Olton, was staged in the Rose Garden in 2014 and 2015. That event inspired Descanso Gardens to produce its own nighttime event, Enchanted: Forest of Light. Visitors requested Descanso Gardens to bring back the jack-o’-lanterns, leading up to the latest Carved version.
“Ambiance is a big part of the experience, and this location could not be more beautiful or better suited for this type of exhibition,” Pollock said. “We’re also excited to return because our previous visitors have been so vocal about bringing jack-o’-lanterns back to the Gardens.”
General admission tickets are $25 for members, $30 for nonmembers. Members have access to presale tickets. Nonmembers can buy tickets starting on Oct. 1.
Descanso Gardens is located at 1418 Descanso Drive in La Canada Flintridge. Descanso Gardens is open daily (closed Christmas) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.