In an age of drive-by celebrations, there is a new twist to a New England Halloween tradition at the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, R.I.
This year, rather than walking, visitors can drive through the zoo’s main path to check out the stunning display while keeping a safe social distance. The spooktacular 30-minute drive immerses guests in the sights and sounds of the Halloween season with spooky lights, music, fog and the main attraction – over 5,000 intricately carved pumpkins.
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Ernie D’Elia, a pumpkin carver who has been working the event for nine years, says the pumpkin-carving process was a bit different this year but the outcome was the same. D’Elia and other carvers first use a permanent marker to draw a design before shaving off the outermost layer of skin with sandpaper. Depending on the complexity of the design and size of the pumpkins, D’Elia says the pumpkin carving process can take a few hours.
“The show looks great and the quality is just as good as every other year,” D’Elia said. “Really the only difference is you’re in your car watching it instead of walking through.”
While it may have a different feel, the annual event continues to draw large crowds on any given night. So carve out some time to visit one of New England’s premier fall traditions before it’s over. The event runs through Nov. 1 and is open every night from 6:30-11 p.m. For more information, visit rwpzoo.org.
Have you been to the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams Park Zoo? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.