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Features

It’s The Great Pumpkin(s)

Nothing quite epitomizes the autumnal equinox than the sight of pumpkins this time of year. Not only are these hardy winter squash staples of both Halloween and Thanksgiving, but they are an internationally-grown crop whose largest producers are Mexico, the United States, Canada, China and India. And while you may have to go that far afield in some instances to get your pumpkin fix, Long Island Weekly is here to offer you some local alternatives.

Jack O’ Lantern Legions

Seeing as Halloween is the eve of Day of the Dead, it only makes sense that these orange-hued vegetables get to have their own uprising as jack-o’-lanterns over at Old Westbury Gardens. Every weekend in October and the first one in November will allow visitors to view more than 5,000 hand-carved jack-o’-lanterns lighting up the night at Long Island’s most treasured historic mansion. RISE of the jack-o’-lanterns features the work dozens of local artists and sculptors in a unique walk-through experience that’s suitable for visitors of all ages. Advanced tickets are required and there are a limited number per day and time. Tickets are available on a first-come first-served basis at www.TheRise.org

WHEN:

October 4-6, 11-13, 17-20, 24-27 & November 1-3, 2013

Various times from 6 to 9:30 p.m.

WHERE:

Old Westbury Gardens

71 Old Westbury Rd.

Old Westbury, 516-333-0048  www.oldwestburygardens.org

COST:

Adult  (13-64): $18-$20

Child: (3-12), Senior (65+): $16-$18

Children 2 and Under: FREE.

More Information and Tickets: www.TheRise.org/owg

Hicks Or Treat

If the sight of all those expertly-crafted jack-o’-lanterns inspires you, Hicks Nurseries has all kinds of events going on throughout the month of October centered in and around pumpkins.

October 6

Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off

Everyone who has grown a pumpkin — no matter what the size — is encouraged to bring it to the Annual Pumpkin Weigh-Off at Hicks Nurseries Show. In addition to awards for the three heaviest pumpkins, Hicks will also award prizes to the ‘Rookie of the Year’ and ‘Best Pumpkin Grown by A Child’ (under the age of 15). Contestants who need to have their pumpkins unloaded must be at the nursery no later than 10 am. Judging begins at 11 a.m. Weigh-Off prizes are $500 for first place, $300 for second place, $200 for third place and $100 for rookie of the year. Best Pumpkin Grown by a child will win a ribbon and free hayride for their family.

October 12 & 13

3-D Pumpkin Carving Demo

Professional craftsman Andy Gertler will be eliciting lots of oohs and aahs once he takes carving knife to pumpkin and creates his very special 3-D works of art. While he makes his magic throughout the day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., he’ll be dispensing tips along the way. Reservations are not necessary.

October 12

Pumpkin Carving Contest

Now that you’ve gotten some pumpkins carving pointers under your belt from Andy Gertler, time to test your mettle at Hicks Nurseries Third Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest. Contestants can bring their carved and decorated pumpkins to registration beginning at 1 p.m. Judging begins promptly at 2 p.m. The winner of each category will win a $20 gift certificate to Hicks Nurseries.

October 15-17

Children’s Workshop: Pumpkin Decorating & Planting

For the junior Andy Gertlers in your life, this hour-long workshop finds the nursery providing fall-themed accessories for the kiddies to decorate and plant a pumpkin for Halloween. Cost is $10 per kid plus tax. Reservations are required. Please call 516-334-0066.

October 19 & 20

Pumpkin Decorating Demonstration

The kids shouldn’t have all the fun dressing up pumpkins. The Hicks in-house artists will show you how to create beautifully decorated pumpkins into fall and Halloween-themed works of art. without having to carve them. The demonstrations will be going on from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Pick That Pumpkin

In order to carve a Jack o’lantern, you have to know where to find a pumpkin. Here’s a list of places where you can pick that perfect winter squash to slice up:

Aquebogue

Stakey’s Pumpkin Farm, 270 West Lane, 631-722-3467

Bay Shore

Fairview Farm, 1624 Manatuck Blvd., 631-665-5411

Bridgehampton

Fairview Farm, 69 Horsemill Lane overlooking Mecox Bay

(Those using a GPS should plug in 69 Horsemill Road in Bridgehampton)

Cutchogue

Greenland Family Farms Inc., 17155 County Rd. 48, 631-734-5791

Dix Hills

Albert H. Schmitt Family Friends, 6 Bagatelle Rd., 631-549-1159

East Islip, Organics Today Farm, 160 Washington St., 631-650-4424

East Meadow

Friendly Farms, 832 Merrick Ave., 516-486-2448

Garden City

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Central Nassau (UUCCN), 223 Stewart Ave., 516-248-8855

Huntington

Elwood Pumpkin Farm, 1500 Jericho Tpke., 631-368-8626

Jamesport

Harbes Family Farm, 1223 Main Rd., Rte. 25

Mattituck

Harbes Family Farm, 715 Sound Ave.

Melville

Schmitt’s Family Farm, 29 Pinelawn Rd., 631-271-3276

White Post Farms, 250 Old Country Rd., 631-351-9373

Patchogue

Woodside Nursery & Garden Center, 134 East Woodside Ave., 631-758-1491

Riverhead

Harbes Family Farm, 5698 Sound Ave., www.harbesfamilyfarm.com

Setauket

Benner’s Farm, 56 Gnarled Hollow Rd., 631-689-8172

Water Mill

Hank’s Pumpkintown, 240 Montauk Hwy., 631-726-4667

The Milk Pail Farm, Orchard & Greenhouses, 757 Mecox Rd., 631-537-2565

May’s Farm, 6361 Rte. 25A, 631-929-6654