Join me in Louisville KY at this year's Jack O' Lantern Spectacular, a 1/4 mile outdoor trail made up of over 5000 illuminated jack o' lanterns! For the past six years, a team of pumpkin carving Halloween aficionados have transformed Iroquois Park into a Halloween fanatic's dream… or nightmare!!! You can also watch and share this video on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.
The Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular began in Oxford, Massachusetts in 1988 and came to Louisville in 2012. This show marks their 6th year in Iroquois Park with 5,000 carved pumpkins lining a ¼-mile walking trail. The show runs daily Oct 9 to Nov 4 from dusk to 11pm during the week and 12pm on Friday / Saturday, although check the dates and hours of operation on their website before you go because they might change slightly year to year.
It's a family friendly event, and not one that will scare your children. There are definitely plenty of spooky themed pumpkin designs, but overall it’s not a haunted Halloween exhibit at all. You’ll also find hundreds of pumpkin designs from classic literature, music, pop culture, historical figures, and sci fi. No-one in your party should worry about being frightened… only marveled!
I learned about the event from my friend Elaina Glynn who shared a WRAT video about the show. I wrote her, “Let's go make a better video than that!” and the adventure was on. It started with a two hour drive to Kingsport TN to pick up Elaina followed by a 5 1/2 hour drive to Louisville KY (which I recently learned is pronounced “LEW-uh-vul”). We arrived a couple hours before sunset to get some shots in the daylight and then waited first in line to get some nighttime shots free of crowds.
Turns out that it's much harder to make a “better video than that!” I quickly learned why WRAT chose to go with a photo slideshow instead of actual video. Shooting videos in that type of lighting is REALLY hard! I'm not professionally trained in choosing proper aperture and ISO settings. Heck, as you learned a few weeks ago, I've been creating all my videos up until this point on my cell phone! Recording video footage that properly captured the magnificence of what we were seeing in person was a challenge, and we must've shot over an hour of footage to create that 2 minute video. I've still got a lot to learn about video making.
While I focused on capturing video throughout the evening, Elaina captured some great photos. When we first arrived she caught the team in action moving a lion head pumpkin that was the size of a LION'S HEAD! This thing was massive and took a crew to lift it.
Afterwards we entered their workspace where a few of the carvers were still in action carving pumpkins. The pumpkins rot after a week, so the month long exhibit actually showcases several different sets of jack o lantern designs.
These jack o lanterns take HOURS to carve and I learned that the designers get paid a well deserved $100 per pumpkin.
We got to the trail early to scope out the jack o lanterns in the daylight, capture some drone footage, and plan our shots for later that evening.
I thought that the trail was as equally impressive in the daylight as it was at night when the jack o lanterns were illuminated.
Marty who helps run the show each year allowed us to enter a few minutes before everyone else after the sun set so that we could capture some photos and video without the crowds.
Special thanks to Marty, Elena, and the teams at Louisville Jack O' Lantern Spectacular and Louisville Parks and Recreation for working so hard to put on this show, and for coordinating with me last minute to get me into the exhibit to film on their busiest Saturday of the year. And thank you to my friend Elaina Glynn for taking the day off work and driving 5 1/2 hours to and from Louisville KY to help me shoot this video.
Want to watch more video stories from USA?
These are some of my favorites that I've produced in America or you can browse all of my travel videos.
The City In Two States – Join me in Tennessee and Virginia's twin city of Bristol, the only city in the USA who's downtown is split exactly down the middle between two states.
The House That Won't Die – At 220 years old, after surviving through two wars, 413 hurricanes, and demolition plans to be replaced by a housing development, this house in North Carolina refuses to die!
Dogs Welcome – This hotel in Asheville fosters dogs! Guests arrive, fall in love with these pups, and then discover that they can adopt them. Polly was their 101st dog to find a home.
They Have 2 Downtowns – Join me and my brother Jason in Fuquay-Varina North Carolina as we explore his town's not ONE but TWO downtowns!
Asheville: The Greatest City in the USA – I'm from Asheville North Carolina – the greatest city in the USA! I've been telling people this for so many years that I decided on my last visit home that it was time to put a video where my mouth is.
If you like it then you should've put a PIN on it!
Love this video and want to share it to your favorite travel or Halloween boards? Use my special Pinterest friendly graphics below!