The Great Pumpkin Carve is the quintessential Brandywine Valley experience, and is a great way to get in the Halloween spirit. It was started by artists Andrew Wyeth, Jamie Wyeth, and Jimmy Lynch in the 1970s to decorate the Chadds Ford Inn for Halloween.
The event has grown each year, and is now an autumn tradition for thousands of people every fall.
This family friendly festival features 70 local artists competing by carving huge pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns on Thursday night. The pumpkins, which may weigh as much as 400 pounds, will be lit and displayed at the end of the carving on Thursday, and illuminated again on Friday and Saturday nights.
Pumpkins are judged and winners declared in several categories: Best Overall, Most Halloween, Best Carving, Most Original, and Best Use of Pumpkin. Since 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of Andrew Wyeth’s birth, a new prize category has been added to this year’s carving competition.
Since Andrew Wyeth loved Halloween so much, the “Andy’s Spookiest Award” will be given to the carver who creates a carving using elements that best evoke the spooky and eerie mysteriousness of the October holiday.
In addition to the pumpkins, the festival offers entertainment for adults and children alike, including live music, raffle prizes, hayrides, pumpkin painting, and other fun activities. This year, the CFHS is expanding the variety of food offered by including local restaurants and food trucks.
Also new this year is the addition of a Scarecrow Display & Competition, where individuals, families, classrooms, and businesses can make a scarecrow to compete in several prize categories: Celebrating Chadds Ford, Keeping Traditions, Forged in History, and Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
The Great Pumpkin Carve is held at the CFHS, located at 1736 North Creek Road. Admission is $10 for adults; $5 for children; free for children 6 and under. CFHS members are free with membership card. All ticketing is at the gate. Free parking is available at the event.
The Great Pumpkin Carve runs from 5-9 PM on Thursday and Friday, with extended hours on Saturday from 3-9 PM. Registration is required to enter both the pumpkin carving competition and the Scarecrow Display & Competition.
Click here for more information or to register.