The most perfect event for celebrating decorative gourd season is hands-down Blaze. I don’t even care if you are reading this from the west coast, you should fly here for it, it’s that goddamn delightful. It opened the last weekend of September, but you have until the end of November to get there.
What is it? It’s over 7,000 pumpkins carved by pumpkin magicians who make them look like other things. For example, sometimes a pumpkin is Trey Anastasio of the band Phish. Sometimes the pumpkin is joined by other pumpkins to create the Pumpkin Zee Bridge. All of them are lit up around the 18th-century Van Cortlandt Manor property, and you get to wander among them, as synchronized lighting and an original soundtrack elevate the already electrifying experience. It’s like walking through a Tim Burton Halloween fantasyland.
Also on the lineup this year is the twirling pumpkin carousel, a giant sea serpent, “an awe-inspiring jack o’lantern Statue of Liberty rising to the sky,” a flock of jack o’lantern owls, and a color-changing star show in the Pumpkin Planetarium.
Photographer Tod Seelie dropped by for a look at the display, click through for a preview.
As for getting there from NYC, it takes just about an hour to drive or to take MetroNorth (to the Croton-Harmon station).
Blaze is located at 525 S Riverside, Croton-on-Hudson. Tickets cost $22 for adults (Fri-Sat $27); Children 3-17: $16 (Fri-Sat $20); Members + Children under 3: FREE. All proceeds go to the Historic Hudson Valley, a non-profit education organization. More details here.