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Chester County Press

An autumn promenade at the Pumpkin Carve

10/15/2014 07:45PM ● By Lev

The artists get busy at the Pumpkin Carve, scheduled Oct. 23 to 25 in Chadds Ford.

By Gene Pisasale



The Chadds Ford Historical Society welcomes fall each year with the Great Pumpkin Carve. The big event is scheduled Oct. 23 to 25 in the field behind the Historical Society's barn in Chadds Ford.

Carving pumpkins in autumn has its roots in England, but has been popular in America for nearly two centuries. The practice got greater recognition locally when Andrew Wyeth began crafting his creations in the 1970s at the Chadds Ford Inn (now Brandywine Prime). Wyeth and his son, Jamie,  sculpted enough charming pumpkins to bring in huge crowds, so eventually a larger space was needed to display them.

In 1992, the annual celebration moved up the road to the grounds of the Historical Society, where hundreds of people enjoyed the cleverly carved pumpkins that were lit by candles at night. Today these strange-looking gourds are transformed by talented artists into a bewildering variety of fanciful shapes. The largest tilt the scale at several hundred pounds, and are more than three feet in width, providing an entertaining and photogenic backdrop for kids and parents alike.

The Great Pumpkin Carve will be held Thursday through Saturday from 5 to 9 each evening at the Historical Society Visitor Center (1736 Creek Rd., Chadds Ford). On Thursday night, visitors can watch the artists in action as they bring the pumpkins to life. This year, more than 60 people will be creating beautiful displays that will please even the most discriminating viewer.

The popular Haunted Trail will thrill visitors with eerie scenes of ghosts, goblins and ghouls, along with spooky Halloween sounds. There will be hayrides, live music, food and beverages, along with arts and crafts. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for ages 7 to 17, free for ages 6 and younger. For more information, call 610-388-7376 or visit


Gene Pisasale is an author based in Kennett Square. His eight books and lecture series focus on the history of the Philadelphia and mid-Atlantic region. His latest work is “American Revolution to Fine Art: Brandywine Valley Reflections.” He can be contacted at Visit His books are available on

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