Roger Williams Park Zoo Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular

Tis the season for Halloween and what better way to kick it off than by strolling through the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular at the Roger Williams Park Zoo.

Theme: 100 Years of Music History

John Reckner – Passion for Pumpkins (00:02 )I’m John Reckner, founder of Passion For Pumpkins, and this is year number 34 I believe. The theme of this year show is 150 years of music history by the Library of Congress.

Ron Patalano – Roger Williams Park Zoo (00:19)You can hear anything from rag time to rap, so the show will have something for everybody.

George Nickolopoulos – Passion for Pumpkins (00:25)What we do is we transform a landscape into an illuminated gallery, and we transport you for about a quarter mile into a world where you’re surrounded by 1000s and 1000s of jack o’ lanterns. You think you’re at a show, but you are the show. So you’re immersed in a sea of pumpkins staring at you, and interspersed with them are spectacular pieces of art that are augmented with lights and music and effects.

JR (00:56) We’ve added incorporated a lot of background lighting this year, just transforms these trees into something magical.

Passion For Pumpkins

RP (01:07) I love the big ones. When they started bringing the you know, the 1500 pound 1800 pound pumpkins out. They put them out initially so the kids can see them and then they start carving them right on the trail. Those if I had to pick that would be my favorite, the large pumpkins.

GN (01:20) The typical intricate pumpkin that we got will last between five and seven days. So each intricate pumpkin that you see on the trail will be replaced four to five times throughout the month long event.

JR (01:36) Passion for pumpkins, how do I define that? I think it’s around us. When you go through here. You understand that.

(01:44) Passion For Pumpkins has been our partner, you know from the beginning. It’s a family run business. John’s vision Blitz takes place here at the zoo.

JR (01:52) I have a collection of tattoo artists, illustrators, and they’ve been doing this for a long, long time now and I appreciate their dedication to come back for six weeks and go through this. I mean it’s an everyday thing for six weeks. So I appreciate that.

RP (02:11) I’ve been working with John for 21 years. He’s passionate, he’s one of the best guys I’ve ever met. You know, he just lives and breathes the show.

GN (02:20) He’s humble. He’s incredibly kind. And it’s an all-around good dude, and I feel bad for people that don’t know him because he makes your day brighter and better every time you see him.

(02:30) The entire passion team, you know whether it’s John, like Matt, they’re part of our Zoo family now.

JR (02:35) It’s just a perfect marriage. We need to Zoo and they need us.

GN (02:43) We try to connect with everyone here at all different age groups, and really provide a really cool evening for individuals, families, friends, you know, come alone, bring 10 people it’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen and I call it the greatest glow on earth.