Go BIG or Go Home
What Happens When A Small-Town Family Visits The "World's Largest"... Whatever!

World’s Largest Jack O’Lantern Displays


I know I’m starting to sound like a scaredy cat. I assure you it’s mostly just a fear of heights. And spiders. And 200 TV channels all airing reality shows at the same time.

Keene Pumpkin Festival

Keene Pumpkin Festival. Photo Credit: J.W. Ocker via OddThingsIveSeen.com

Given my delicate nature, Halloween tends to not be my favorite holiday. But Jack O’Lantern festivals are just my cup of tea. They’re more about fun and artistry, and less about fright and gore.

There are two events this year vying for the world record for the most Jack O’Lanterns lit at one event.

The Keene Pumpkin Festival in NH is the largest and oldest. The world record for the number of Jack O’Lanterns lit at one event was broken here eight times, until a 2006 event in Boston topped it. Still, last year’s 29,762 pumpkins was a record for this festival, and the world record may be broken again this year! The 20th anniversary of the Keene Pumpkin Festival takes place on Main Street in Keene this Saturday, October 16.

In this corner, the challenger! The Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival in IL, is preparing to take its own shot at the world record this year. The whole community participates, creating and donating their own carved creations. They anticipate lighting 32,000 Jack O’Lanterns to take the title! This event takes place October 20-23 in Highwood, IL.

Highwood Pumpkin Festival

Highwood Pumpkin Festival. Photo Credit: Marcia Burke, City of Highwood

Full disclosure: we have not been to either of these events. But we have been to The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze in Croton-on-Hudson, NY for five years in a row. There are over 4,000 Jack O’ lanterns on display here; nothing to sneeze at! And since this event is my personal, “hometown” favorite, I’m going to give them a plug.  The level of artistry and creativity at the Blaze is notably above par. The Jack O’Lanterns cover the grounds of a 17th-century historic site; hanging from tree limbs, perched on rooftops, and incorporated in themed vignettes. You’ll see an undersea aquarium, a field of detailed Celtic knots, a den of dinos, a beehive, pirate ship, and a group of mummies with a pyramid. Amazing.

If you would like more information about these and other Jack O’Lantern festivals, I recently wrote this article for WomansDay.com about ten different events across the country.

Speaking of Jack O’Lanterns, we decorated for Halloween this weekend. “We” meaning The Girl set up everything every-which-way, then I moved it all after she went to bed.  I love Halloween décor, and recently found this cute Jack O’Lantern scent warmer. Could see that in my house!

And now, for the fun part: WIN CHOCOLATE! It wouldn’t be Halloween without it!

Butterfinger SnackerzWho doesn’t like Butterfinger bars? The 87-year-old classic candy brand has introduced a new product this year, Butterfinger Snackerz. This treat has a smooth candy center wrapped in an airy wafer biscuit drenched in chocolatey goodness and topped with a drizzle of peanut butter.

In the name of “research,” I had to give these a try. In the name of “accuracy,” I needed to repeat the research several times. (Chocoholic on Board). I love these, because you get a lighter, crispier bite of what makes the original Butterfinger so good.

One lucky winner will receive four bags of “fun size” product (16 pouches inside) OR 2 boxes of full size pouches (24 pouches inside), based on availability. Theoretically, this prize is enough to pass out at Halloween. What happens to it once it arrives at your house is your business.

Want to enter? Sign up to receive our e-mail notifications (see upper right hand corner). A winner will be chosen randomly from the names of new e-mail subscribers to this site. Winner will be notified next Monday (10/18), and will be asked to provide a mailing address.  The prize will be mailed directly to them from the company, so the winner must reside in the U.S.

Thanks to BUTTERFINGER® Nestlé USA for donating the product for this giveaway.


  1. claudia cooley said,
    October 13, 2010 @ 7:51 am

    “Theoretically, this prize is enough to pass out at Halloween. What happens to it once it arrives at your house is your business.”

    (of course, this completely goes against my strategy of buying candy I DON’T like for Halloween, ie: Mounds or that other one with Coconut. that way, I really do give it all away.)

  2. Angela A said,
    October 13, 2010 @ 3:36 pm

    I just entered! Thanks for tweeting at me @onetwomany :)))

  3. October 13, 2010 @ 3:58 pm

    thanks I signed up and following on twitter as well @nutmeg237 🙂 !!!

  4. Wayne said,
    October 13, 2010 @ 4:00 pm

    following tweeting and hoping to snag some candy @dial231

  5. Cindy Bertram said,
    October 13, 2010 @ 4:04 pm

    I signed up and following on twitter as well @cbonpc

  6. Mike said,
    October 13, 2010 @ 4:58 pm

    We will be doing our part this Halloween, lighting ONE Jack o’ lantern. It may not be a record, but I am sure it is all I will have the patience to accomplish.

  7. Patty said,
    October 13, 2010 @ 5:52 pm

    I signed up and tweeted @applespice159

  8. Kristina said,
    October 14, 2010 @ 11:04 pm

    I just signed up. I can’t wait to read more articles like this one. I am new to the area and just got tickets to see the Jack O Lantern Blaze next weekend. I’m so excited. I love butterfingers. Yummy. I love putting them in the freezer and eating them all nice and cold.

    • Traci Suppa said,
      October 15, 2010 @ 2:47 pm

      Thanks for signing up! You can search “New York” for several other regional attractions to check out. You’re gonna LOVE the Blaze! Leave yourself plenty of time to park and queue up with all the others in your time slot.

      There’s a great casual family restaurant nearby where you have dinner beforehand, Umami Cafe. http://www.umamicafe.com/ Try the truffled mac n’ cheese!

  9. Linda Zuckerman said,
    October 15, 2010 @ 10:44 pm

    My husband and I are driving up from NJ on Saturday to meet friends from Poughkeepsie. We have tickets for the Blaze at 9pm. We may try the Umami Cafe for dinner before the Blaze. This will be our first time going and I can’t wait. Hope it’s dry and not too cold. We’re staying overnight at the Holiday Inn in Mt. Kisco. Then heading Sunday morning to visit Lyndhurst Estate on our way home to NJ.

    • Traci Suppa said,
      October 17, 2010 @ 6:45 am

      That sounds like a great time! Your comment made me smile, because I used to be the marketing person at the Westchester County Office of Tourism, and my sole mission was to get people to do exactly what you’re doing: coming in for a weekend getaway!

      Please let me know how it went!

  10. Christina said,
    October 17, 2010 @ 7:13 pm

    I hear from a relative that lives in Keene, NH that this may be the last year that Keene is doing their Biggest display due to budgetary problems. I’m so disappointed that we’ve never seen it and i’m hoping it’s just a rumor.