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Central Park

2009 Pumpkin Festival A Spooky Success

Saturday, October 24, 2009
No. 113

On Saturday, New Yorkers enjoyed the Halloween spirit at the 2009 Pumpkin Festival in Central Park. Participants experienced a myriad of spooky and fun activities ranging from a citywide Scarecrow Design Competition to a Haunted Cruise Ship.

“It is always a thrill to see thousands of New Yorkers come enjoy our parks, especially during one of the most exciting and terror-ific holidays of the year,” said Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “This year’s Haunted Cruise Ship, which was put together by Recreation staff from across the city, is a spooktacular addition to the 2009 Pumpkin Festival. Parks is proud to offer a free, safe and family-friendly event for people of all ages to enjoy.”

Among exciting activities at the festival were hay rides, face painting and a pumpkin patch with decorating stations. To celebrate the fall spirit, Greenmarket Vendors sold fresh, seasonal produce. Parks’ Recreation staff organized this year’s Haunted Cruise Ship, which featured one room designed by staff from each of the five boroughs. Also, Big Apple Circus, Laughing Pizza, and Kidrockers put on interactive performances for the whole family to enjoy.

New Yorkers got spooked at Parks’ Haunted Cruise Ship. Staten Island Recreation cooked up in the haunted kitchen and Brooklyn Recreation staff played ghoulish games in the “wreck” room. Visitors monster mashed in Queens Recreation’s ballroom and navigated through Manhattan Recreation’s creepy cabin. Participants prepared for a scare in Bronx Recreation’s prison!

This year’s Scarecrow Contest was held at Central Park’s Bethesda Fountain, where dozens of spooky scarecrows stood on display. The scarecrows were judged by New York Knick Larry Hughes and Commissioner Benepe. The judges awarded prizes to winners in four categories: elementary school, middle school, high school, and adults. Prizes included prize packs from the New York Knicks and Chelsea Piers; iPod accessories, and Parks hats. The winning scarecrow will be put on display for one month at the Arsenal Gallery in Central Park.

Event partners included the NY Post, Radio Disney, KISS FM, and Hot 97. The festival was sponsored by Camp Sunshine, Walt Disney Studio’s A Christmas Carol, and Cabot Cheese.


Directions to Central Park

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