Halloween gleams at the Naumkeag Pumpkin Show

The blue stairs glow with orange and gold lights. The birch trees are slender and bare, and the last of the maples are turning. The ridge in the distance is frosted with the season’s first snow. And jack-o-lanterns are gleaming in the dark, carved with fantastic shapes — dragons and sea creatures, owls and octopuses …

What does Halloween look like in a Covid-19 season? Ordinary trick-or-treating may not happen this year. But costumes and chocolate are still here, jack-o-lanterns and virtual ghost tours at the Mount, caramel apples and quiet celebrations.

Naumkeag is holding its annual month-long pumpkin show. The walk spreads out through the gardens in the dusk and after dark, says general manager Brian Cruey, and it has expanded its dates and its hours, as it can allow only 50 people at a time including staff (by state regulations).

They are growing more of their own pumpkins this year, he says, including giant ones, and they have added some foam ones so they can begin the carving weeks ahead to explore whimsical themes — cats and cauldrons, fairies and flowers glowing in the dark. 

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