We’ve taken the decision not to go ahead with our full-scale ‘Pumpkin Lantern Festival’ this year. It’s been a hard one for us all as we know how much this annual spectacle is loved by so many. Every year we too get immense joy from seeing hundreds of Hackney residents carving pumpkins together and the thousands of lanterns all lit up in the Garden.
Our annual lantern festival kind of started by accident 11 years ago, when we carved 20 lanterns in a children’s half-term workshop. Every year after that the number of residents taking part and pumpkins carved grew and grew until in 2019 when over 1,400 pumpkins were carved by adults, young people and children and the lanterns were lit up in the Garden for 12 nights.
Like many other small businesses and social enterprises, we’ve had an incredibly challenging year. This means that we are unable to dedicate the necessary hours of work, finances and energy that we know from experience is needed to create and safely manage a spectacle of the scale that makes our annual Pumpkin Lantern Festival so special.
However, October at Dalston Curve Garden would just not be the same without some pumpkin lantern magic. So, as we did in 2020 and 2021, we are inviting adults, young people and children to carve a pumpkin at home for entry into our 2022 #dalstonpumpkins competition.
All of the lantern competition entries will be displayed in our Rainbow House and in a few other nooks and crannies in the Garden for visitors to enjoy, from Wednesday 26 – Sunday 30 October. You’ll be able to visit the Garden in the evenings to see them all lit up.
To enter the competition you just need to bring your carved pumpkin to the Garden from Tuesday 25 – Saturday 29 October, between 2-6pm. We will be posting more details about the competition next week.