Louisville says Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular a spectacular success - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville says Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular a spectacular success

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville's Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular is drawing much bigger crowds than the city expected, and the money is going to help local families.

It's a labor of love.

Hands work as fast as their fingers allow at "Pumpkin Central" where thousands of pumpkins are carved and put on display in Iroquois Park.

"There's nothing quite like it," said Katie Schreiner, who describes herself as a pumpkin artist. "Drawing and carving on pumpkins -- it's not something I thought I would do, but I really enjoy it."

The city is enjoying Schreiner's work as well.

"It's a great family event, great date night event, walking through the woods at dark looking at art, listening to music," said Marty Storch, Deputy Director of Louisville Metro Parks.

The Jack O'Lantern Spectacular showcases 15,000 pumpkins on a third-of-a-mile trail at Iroquois Park. They light up featuring familiar and freaky faces.

"Huge," Storch said. "It's great for the community."

And it's much bigger than anyone expected. The event boasts 60,000 guests so far. In only its second year, the Jack O'Lantern Spectacular is now on track to earn four times the profit from last year: $200,000.

What has changed?

"Social media," Storch said.

Our viewers buzzed on Facebook, with guests writing, "It is an awe every turn! Awesome! Mind blown."

Some people have found the cost a bit spooky, at $9 to $15 a ticket, but the money from the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular will be used to help build playgrounds and spraygrounds at three Louisville Parks. The Metro Parks Foundation is in the midst of a five-year campaign, trying to raise $1.5 million for the improvements at California, Russell Lee, and Lannon Memorial Parks.

There is one nightmare in this story.

"You've got to remember these are vegetables, so when you start carving on them, the clock starts ticking, and 85-degree temperatures Saturday, Sunday and Monday really took a toll," Storch said.

And that fact makes Schreiner's hands work a little faster.

"It's a steep learning curve, but once you get it, they look beautiful," Schreiner said.

The Jack O'Lantern Spectacular continues through Nov. 2.

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