The acclaimed Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular, presented by Citizens Bank, will return to Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence with shows running nightly from October 1st through November 1st. This highly anticipated annual fall tradition features a breathtaking display of 5,000 illuminated jack-o-lanterns, with over 125 of them artistically carved and displayed in scenes to play out the annual theme. Situated on the Zoo’s picturesque wetlands trail, the event has won praise from across the nation for its amazing artistry and appeal as a unique, family-friendly autumn destination. Over 100,000 people have come in each of the past five years to enjoy the nighttime show, and last year’s Spectacular saw the second highest attendance of over 125,000 visitors. “With thousands of awe-inspiring pumpkins illuminating the night, this iconic fall event is fun for people of all ages and is not to be missed,” said Barbara Cottam, RI Market Executive, Citizens Bank. “Citizens Bank is delighted once again to be the presenting sponsor of this favorite fall attraction.”
Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular founder and history:
The Spectacular was founded many years ago by John Reckner, an Oxford, Mass. resident who recently retired from his postal carrier career. Inspired by a Vermont farm he had seen lined with glowing jack-o-lanterns, Reckner organized the first Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular in Oxford in 1988. The jack-o-lanterns featured in this first event were carved by local residents and displayed for only one evening on a hillside behind a local school. About 300 spectators attended. Today, Mr. Reckner, his family, and their crew of jack-o-lantern artists now known as Passion for Pumpkins, continue to bring the Spectacular to life. Visitors at the 2014 Spectacular called it “autumnal bliss!” and “a fabulous night of gorgeous artistry.” The show has been selected by the U.S. Library of Congress as a national “local legacy,” and was featured in Martha Stewart Living, on the Travel Channel, The Today Show, The Early Show, USA Today and CNN. The Associated Press hailed the show as “extraordinary”, abc.com named it one of the top 11 “Spookiest Destinations” and the American Bus Association Spectacular dubbed the Spectacular a “2013 top 100 event”.