Skip to main content

Chester County Press

Pumpkins are the stars of this annual tradition

10/08/2019 10:44AM ● By J. Chambless

Local residents and artisans sign up to carve pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns each year.

Leaves are changing colors, the nights are getting cooler and the splendor of fall is upon us. It is this setting that allows people to revel in the Great Pumpkin Carve, a celebration enjoyed by thousands for more than four decades. The event, slated Oct. 17 to 19, is hosted by the Chadds Ford Historical Society.

The Great Pumpkin Carve was started by artists Jimmy Lynch, Andrew Wyeth and Jamie Wyeth in the 1970s in front of the Chadds Ford Inn. The event has grown each year and is now an autumn tradition for thousands of people. This family-friendly festival features more than 70 local artists competing as they carve huge pumpkins into amazing jack-o-lanterns. 

The pumpkins, which weigh as much as 400 pounds, will be illuminated by candlelight on Oct. 17, coming to life again the following two nights. Pumpkins are judged and winners declared in several categories: Best Overall, Most Halloween, Best Carving, Most Original and Best Use of Pumpkin. All three nights spectators can vote for their favorite pumpkins and the winner will be awarded with the People’s Choice.

The event offers entertainment for all ages, including live music, raffle prizes, hayrides and other fun activities. The Historical Society’s expanded pumpkin patch provides additional room for easier viewing, along with more admission lines to reduce waiting time. The kid-friendly Haunted Trail features a path of Halloween inflatables leading to scenes filled with ghosts, spiders, witches, ghouls and an eerie haunted cemetery. There will be local wines, beers and ciders in addition to great food on sale.

The Great Pumpkin Carve is held on the grounds of the Chadds Ford Historical Society (1736 N. Creek Rd., Chadds Ford). Admission is $15 for adults, $5 for children ages 7 to 17; free for children 6 and younger. Society members are free with membership card. All ticketing is at the gate. Parking is free. The hours are 4 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 17 and 18, and hours are extended on Oct. 19 from 3 to 9 p.m. Registration is required to enter the pumpkin carving competition. For more information, call  610-388-7376 or visit

Gene Pisasale