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Carve a pumpkin at home!

Calling all creative pumpkin carvers in Hackney!

This October we are inviting Hackney residents to show off their creative skills by carving a pumpkin at home, to bring to the Garden for entry into our ‘Dalston Pumpkins’ competition. 

Sadly, because of COVID restrictions on large public gatherings, the Garden’s annual Pumpkin Lantern Festival cannot take place this year  We are so disappointed, not least as we know how much everyone looks forward to it and in this 10th anniversary year, we had been planning our biggest Pumpkin Festival yet. We love our annual Pumpkin Festival, because not only does it showcase Hackney’s creativity on a huge scale, with over 20,000 coming along last year, but it also brings the community together in a big way, to share each other’s work and enjoy the spectacle. Current COVID-19 restrictions mean that an event of this scale, with hundreds of people queuing round the block to see all the pumpkins, is just not possible. 

Queuing to get in to the Dalston Pumpkin Lantern Festival

We’ve thought long and hard about how we can all still celebrate the Autumn season and how we can stay true to the open, accessible and creative spirit of our annual Pumpkin Lantern Festival, while prioritising the need to keep everyone in the Garden safe. 

We can’t offer our usual big weekend of carving in the Garden, facilitated by our amazing volunteers, as it’s a close contact activity that current safety restrictions don’t allow. Instead, we want to bring the creative talents of the borough together by inviting local residents to carve a pumpkin at home, which they can bring to the Curve Garden to be entered into the ‘Dalston Pumpkins’ competition. 

You can find out how to enter the Dalston Pumpkins competition here.

All of the pumpkins brought to the Garden will then be displayed throughout the half-term week during the day, for all of our visitors to enjoy. We’ll share photos of the pumpkin lantern entries on our social media every day, and there will be prizes for the most creative and unusual ones. The current restrictions mean that our nightly public light-up nights cannot take place.  

Over the past 10 years we’ve had pumpkins carved with Cinderella in her coach, fairytales, the Tower of London, bats, cats and everything in between and we can’t imagine the Garden in October without pumpkins. We can’t wait to see what people come up with this year. We always say every pumpkin lantern has its own magic!