Jack-o'Lantern Contest Rules

Pumpkin Festival Schedule of Events


The colorful fruit of many trees in the gardens is as eye-catching as bright foliage.

Autumn's textures, shapes, and colors delight many visitors.


Albert Eistein inspired the person who carved this pumpkin.
(Photo by Tina Hay)


Winners of First Pumpkin-Carving Contest in the
H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens (October 21 - 22, 2011)


A view of the some entries in the jack-o'-lantern contest during the Pumpkin Festival on October 22, 2011 (Photo by Tina Hay)

This year the Arboretum held its first seasonal event for the campus and community - a Pumpkin Festival featuring a pumpkin-carving contest and lighted jack-o-lantern display (October 21 - 22, 2011).

On Sunday and Monday, October 16 and 17, we distributed 508 pumpkins free (first come/first served) to anyone who registered to enter the contest. Those who did not receive pumpkins at the Arboretum were welcome to provide their own pumpkins. A total of 268 entries were received. Each contestant received a gift certificate for Penn State's Berkey Creamery.

Owls were popular subjects for contest entries. (Photo by Tina Hay)

The jack-o'-lanterns were displayed on the Event Lawn during an open house in the gardens from 2:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 22, 2011, and were lighted for public viewing on both Friday and Saturday evenings (October 21 and 22) from 5:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.

A view of the jack-o'-lanterns on the Event Lawn with the Overlook Pavilion in the background on Friday, October 21, 2011. (Photo by Jeff Dice)

Pumpkin Festival Panel of Judges

A panel of local campus and community leaders served as judges for the pumpkin-carving contest.

Bruce McPheron, dean, College of Agricultural Sciences
Steve Bair, fire director, Centre Region Council of Governments
Damon Sims, vice president for Student Affairs
Tom Daubert, member, State College Borough Council
Dr. Robert O’Donnell, superintendent, State College Area School District

Ribbons were awarded for the best-of-show entry and the best in each of six age groups. In addition, every child from age 2 through 7 who entered a jack-o'-lantern received a ribbon for participating in the contest.

Best-in-show ribbon was awarded to Jenny Le
for her "werecat" design. (Photo by Kathy Smith)

Pumpin-Carving Contest Winners

Age Group: 2-4
1st Audrey Brush
2nd Max King
3rd Dominic Niedermyer

Age Group: 5-7
1st Samantha Wilson
2nd John Crane
3rd Mila Galloway

Age Group: 8-10
1st Patrick Lyons
2nd Gaven Grimes
3rd Lauren Lieb

Age Group: 11-13
1st Amanda Clark
2nd Owen Wing
3rd Elina Lure

Age Group: 14-17
1st Jenny Le
2nd Hsiao-Fan Tai
3rd Sarah Elder

Age Group: Adult
1st Jamie Myers
2nd Leslie Yackeren
3rd Alex Becker

Best of Show
Jenny Le


We would like to gratefully acknowledge the generous donation from Dorothy "Dottie" B. O'Connor that made this community event possible.

The pumpkin above (featuring the building known as "Old Main" on the University Park campus) was a favorite with visitors. (Photo by Tina Hay)


Penn State Home Page Arboretum Home Page Arboretum Home Page