The Great Jackolantern Blaze

by Tony Shea on October 12, 2014

in SHALL WE?

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All hail October! The funnest (that’s right you English majors – I said it) month of the year kicks into gear. The Halloween festivities have begun in earnest. Last night, the family and I, dog included, headed north from Manhattan to Croton-on-Hudson for the Great Jackolantern Blaze, which is a good event for people with young kids and people who are otherwise fetishistically inclined towards Jackolanterns.

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When I was a kid, my old man and I would sit on the kitchen floor and carve the pumpkin, disemboweling its seedy slippery guts, before going to work on the face of the evolving creature, carving it to an appropriate level of ghoulishness. Although, if there is anything that could be said about my father it was that he was left-handed, and left-handed in a generation where the teachers actively encouraged everyone to be right-handed, so he wasn’t very good with a pumpkin carving knife if you follow me, just barely able to produce something that resembled a face, let alone some master work of horror.

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Or a dinosaur or sunflower for that matter.

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And I’m not much better. Ah, but not to worry my non-sculpture-able friends (those in proximity to Manhattan at least) just jump in the car and head north to the Great Jackolantern Blaze, where you will see virtually every style of pumpkin carving and sculpture ever conceived of on Earth or in the underworld, and the kids will love it. Except for my kid, who very calmly climbed in his stroller, pulled down the canopy over his head, and said “I’m scared.” Well, we thought, fair enough. Win some lose some, but the Great Jackolantern Blaze was still fun and a good way to kick off the season that promises only to escalate in awesomeness.

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Christmas. St. Patty’s. Thanksgiving. 4th of July. The high holy days, but Halloween, even when it’s on a Monday, is the king of fun (certain instances of Mardi Gras, Carnival’, and Kermesse excluded). So may you celebrate the saints and the martyrs and the ghouls and the ghosts this October. May you drink apple cider and double IPA beer and eat apple cider doughnuts and a thousand other pumpkin flavored items and dress up weird for your fantasies for the next three weeks. Cheers!

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Tony Shea ( Editor-in-Chief, New York)

Tony Shea is based in New York, having recently moved from Los Angeles after more than a decade on the sunny coast. His short films have won numerous awards and screened at major festivals around the world including Comic-Con. As a musician, he is the lead singer for Los Angeles rock n’ roll band Candygram For Mongo (C4M) candygramformongo.com who has been a featured artist on Clear Channel Radio’s Discover New Music Program and whose songs have been heard on Battlestar Gallactica (Syfy Channel) and Unhitched (Fox) among other shows and films.

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