This Halloween season, The Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns brought 5,000 hand-carved jack o’lanterns to four locations across the country for guests to explore. Artists crafted their pumpkin masterpieces to the likeness of classic characters, celebrities, athletes, and politicians. The New Jersey event at the Meadowlands Expo Center contained Disney characters, horror movie legends, superheroes, supervillians, and Hillary and a Trumpkin. There was an in memoriam section that included Gene Wilder, Alan Rickman, and Muhammad Ali, among others. The room was dark, allowing the illuminated pumpkins’ carved images to glow.
The Rise also specializes in life-size pumpkin structures. New Jersey’s event featured dinosaur skeletons, Star Wars characters and ships, superheroes, Frozen characters, safari animals, Day of the Dead skulls, and a large dragon. Each structure was made of dozens of pumpkins that were carved and assembled so that the illumination of each collectively created the image.
There was also a section of tables of artists who demonstrated how they carve their pumpkins. Hundreds of artists carved pumpkins for two days prior to the event in each location. This year, The Rise came to New York, New Jersey, Boston, and Los Angeles.
*Photos from this event can be found at Fanbase Press’ Facebook gallery, The Rise – Erica McCrystal, photographer.