“Find a Pumpkin—Take a Pumpkin” was the message in Columbus Park on the afternoon of Thursday, October 15, when the Friends of Christopher Columbus Park (FOCCP) hosted its first pop-up pumpkin patch.
Ann Babbitt, Friends of Christopher Columbus Park Vice President, conceived of the idea for this alternative experience when the annual Fall Festival had to be canceled due to the pandemic. Parents and grandparents with babies, toddlers and young children walked under the Pumpkin Patch welcome sign into a field populated by scarecrows and awash with colorful acorn, leaf, and pumpkin decorations. FOCCP members welcomed visitors, reminding them to wear masks and keep socially distanced. Tiny pumpkins were scattered about the west lawn for tiny hands to pick up.
“Because of the need to limit the number of people at the event, we limited pre-publicity about the pop-up event. We only sent out one message to the North End mothers group the day before,” says FOCCP Vice President and event Chair Ann Babbitt. “Word spread throughout the the neighborhood and we had a nice turnout during the three-hour event. It was busy, but never got crowded, which is just what we wanted.”
The Giant Pumpkin in the Rose Garden delighted children and parents, especially as they watched FOCCP Art Curator Robyn Reed inflate the pumpkin with a concealed box fan. “I unlocked the garden so the children and parents could get a close up look at the pumpkin and pose for photos,” she says.
Reed conceived of and created this massive structure made from the material used for orange plastic table cloths (exterior) and large black plastic trash bags (interior). If you learned about ratios in school and wondered how this knowledge applies in real life, Robyn is the one to ask. She designed a paper model and a second model using the plastic material before extrapolating this information to construct the gigantic nearly 80 square yard finished product.
She shared a thanks to Ed Rocco, general manager of the Marriott Long Wharf, for the use of the Marriott’s ballroom. “We needed a really large space and could not have constructed the giant inflatable pumpkin without the Marriott!”
Weather permitting there will be another one or two pop-up pumpkin patches in the next week. FOCCP is an all-volunteer group of neighbors and businesses. “We rely on the support of the neighborhood to host events in the park and to do what’s needed to keep the park safe, clean and beautiful,” says Membership Chair MaryGaye Grizwin. Join or renew your membership at www.foccp.org/membership.
Additional photos from the FOCCP pumpkin patch below, courtesy of Meredith Piscitelli.