Jack-o'-lantern display debuts at Spirits in the Gardens


ISU freshmen Anne Wallace, left, and Evan Boss stencil designs on pumpkins at Reiman Gardens earlier this week. Adult volunteers still are needed Thursday and Friday (9 a.m. to 9 p.m.) to help carve pumpkins for the gardens' Spirits in the Gardens event this weekend. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

Reiman Gardens will be aglow this weekend with a display of about 500 spooktacular carved pumpkins as part of its annual Spirits in the Gardens event, Oct. 22-23 (4-9 p.m.).

Volunteers needed

Hundreds of adult volunteers stopped by the gardens' maintenance shed earlier this week to turn pumpkins, donated by Black's Heritage Farm, Ames, into one-of-a-kind jack-o'-lanterns. Carving continues Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Only adults 18 years and older may volunteer. Tools and art designs are provided. Free cider and hot chocolate will be served.

Family opportunity

Kids and families may partake in pumpkin carving during the family pumpkin carving workshop on Saturday, Oct. 22 (10 a.m.-noon). Children must be accompanied by an adult. The workshop is limited to 20 families. Preregistration and prepayment is required by Friday, Oct. 21. Cost is $12 per family for the general public ($5 per family for members), and includes admission to Reiman Gardens. Families may take their jack-o'-lanterns home on Monday, Oct. 24.

Past favorites

Spirits in the Gardens weekend activities include trick-or-treating, crafts and storytelling. Children are encouraged to dress in costumes and bring a bag to collect treats. Visitors may view the lighted jack-o'-lanterns along the gardens' outdoor paths from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

Spirits in the Gardens is free for kids under 18 and members. Cost is $8 for adults.