Yup, that’s me. A little devil. This photo brings back joyful memories of Halloweens past. I’ve tried to make October 31 equally special for my kids. Part of this effort was taking them to a jaw-dropping event when they were small (they’re teenagers now and generally prep themselves for the big day). Recently, my best friend from high school visited me with her two young sons. Their stay was the perfect excuse to revisit this enormous, one-of-a-kind Halloween extravaganza.

I took them to The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, New York area’s most innovative Halloween event. At night, visitors snake their way through a display of 7,000 illuminated jack-o’-lanterns – all hand-carved and fashioned into massive, elaborate designs. Some of our favorites included an enormous T-Rex, a train engine, and a giant spider web.  The event goes through Thanksgiving.

Photo © Jennifer Mitchell


Photo by Tom Nycz


Photo by Angie Gaul

This kind of creativity reminds me of a Halloween project I did with my grandmother’s ceramic figurines. After she died, I decided to give them a holiday goth makeover. You can read about this fun and meaningful endeavor in my post, “Making Meaningful Halloween Decorations.”

For Tracy and me, visiting this year’s Blaze added wonderful memories to the stockpile we already have. And it was so much more. The evening also provided a welcome moment for me to reminisce about Trick-or-Treating when I was small, remember my parents, and savor memories of my children when they were, at one time, mesmerized by the Blaze, too.