Annual Pumpkin Fest attracts crowds to Central Park

By Kavish Harjai, Staff Writer

Jonathan Tan/WSN

 

Zombies, Frankenstein’s monsters, superheroes and many other characters attended this year’s annual Pumpkin Fest in Central Park. The sun was out on Saturday, Oct. 26, and attendees enjoyed live entertainment and various activities in celebration of Halloween.

“NYC Parks Recreation Commission and NYC Parks Special Events have been working long and hard to bring this great day to the community,” Veronica White, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation commissioner, said in her address at the event. “They made everything happen, including the weather. They planned that really well, didn’t they?”

Phil Abramson, director of media relations, said Pumpkin Fest was intended to combine various Halloween festivities, including a pumpkin patch and carving.

Entertainment included a brief comedy show by the master of ceremonies, Beetleguy, followed by live music.

The haunted house drew the longest line. It included five different rooms representing each of the five New York City boroughs if they were infested with zombies.

An addition to this year’s festivities was the first PUP-kin Zone and Doggie Costume Contest. Presented by pet food manufacturer Iams, this event included a prize for the best-dressed dog, free-play area, agility course and a dog spa.

NYU’s chapter of the Zeta Psi fraternity volunteered at the festival with the Parks Commission.

“We are here organizing events,” CAS freshman and Zeta Psi member Imran Akarbaly said. “We were told that there was going to be around 40,000 people here, so we are here decorating pumpkins, and we have a bunch of people working at the haunted house.”

 

Jonathan Tan/WSN

 

Samantha Sugarman, 30, and Sarah Fuller, 30, both attended with their newborn children. Both said there was a lot more going on this year.

“From last year to this year, there are a lot more people,” Fuller said. “Last year it was cold and two days before the storm [Hurricane Sandy] was coming.”

Many other people at the festival said they noticed the increase in attendees, including Yanise Cabrera, 23, who said the lines were longer for the attractions compared to previous years.

“I came the year before last, and the event has just gotten much bigger,” Cabrera said. “They sell this maple cotton candy, and we try to get it every year.”

“Halloween in New York is crazy,” Cabrera said. “There are a ton of … special Halloween events.”

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Oct. 28 print edition. Kavish Harjai is a staff writer. Email him at [email protected]