Great Delaware Pumpkin Carve to show off local creations

Delaware State News/Marc Clery Paige Davidson, left, and Trish Dunlap put the final touches on a scarecrow for the Great Delaware Pumpkin Carve Festival at the Delaware State Fair’s Quillen Arena in Harrington. The event will take place tonight and Saturday. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

HARRINGTON — The best dressed pumpkins, and their admirers, are about to take over the Delaware State Fairgrounds for another year this weekend.

The second annual Great Delaware Pumpkin Carve Festival, a partnership between Biggs Museum of American Art and the Delaware State Fair, will have the Quillen Arena filled with fall festivities today from 5-9 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.

“It’s a fundraiser because both entities are 501C3 organizations. It helps programming, it helps our operating budgets, of course, and it helps us continue doing what we do,” said Natalie Osorio, assistant to the director and facility coordinator at Biggs Museum of American Art in Dover.

A nor’easter made the success of the inaugural event last year difficult to attain, but this year’s event is headed for sunny skies and a profitable weekend.

Friday night is when most of the pumpkins will be carved, Ms. Osorio said. Carvers, individually or as a group, paid a $25 registration fee for the opportunity to craft their own giant pumpkin which would be judged later in the evening.

Fun activities for all ages will also be available Friday night as the carvers get to work like crafts for the children and a hay maze for families to enjoy. Food trucks and fall libations will also be on site, along with spooky sandcastles to view crafted by local artisans and an illuminated pumpkin patch to visit at the end of the evening to include pumpkins carved earlier that day.

Trish Dunlap sits in front of pumpkins while preparing for the second annual Great Delaware Pumpkin Carve Festival. (Submitted photo)

“We kind of see Friday night as a great date night out for couples or parents,” Ms. Osorio said. “Saturday is when all of the activities happen.”

More pumpkin carvers will work on their creations Saturday morning as the day’s festivities begin. Activities will include Friday night’s fun, plus a costume contest at noon, 2 and 4 p.m., a bouncy house and twister inflatable, face painting and a special trick-or-treat event at 6 p.m. as the second annual Great Delaware Pumpkin Carve Festival comes to a close.

Having fun is just one goal for the annual festival; awareness is the other, Ms. Osorio ensured.

“We would like to get the Biggs name out there. We are in Dover and we are hoping to make people in Sussex County aware of the Biggs Museum,” Ms. Osorio said. “We are here in support of the community. We are here to support awareness of American decorative fine arts, that’s what the Biggs Museum is about. … And it’s a fundraiser. It helps support programming at the Biggs, just like it does for the Delaware State Fair.”

Weekend admission can still be purchased online for $10 per adult or $5 per child aged 6-12 years old. Children under 5 years old are free all weekend. Tickets for Friday night can be purchased at the door for $5 per adult and $3 per child 6-12 years old. Saturday tickets can be purchased at the door for $10 per adult and $5 per child 6-12 years old. Parking is free.

For more information about the second annual Great Delaware Pumpkin Carve Festival, visit

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