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Transylvania’s PumpkinMania returns with carving event, jack-o’-lantern display

Students carving pumpkins at Transylvania University.

Transylvania University’s PumpkinMania presented by White, Greer & Maggard Orthodontics returns to downtown Lexington with a family-friendly pumpkin carving event Sunday, Oct. 24, and a jack-o’-lantern display each night from Oct. 25-28.

Five hundred pumpkins are coming to Transylvania by way of Black Soil, a Lexington-based organization that helps connect Black Kentucky farmers with their agricultural heritage and expand the market for their products. Ashley Smith, Black Soil co-founder and COO, says this year’s pumpkins are being sourced from one of the group’s top producers, Cleav’s Family Market in Bonnieville. 

The return of PumpkinMania is made possible this year by the generous support of White, Greer & Maggard Orthodontics, Bluegrass Sotheby’s International Realty (Fred Copeland ’93, Barb Farrell ’84, Gwen Mathews ’88, Jimmy Turek ’99), Commonwealth Credit Union and Direct Response, Inc. In its 11th year, the annual event has become a Halloween tradition on Transylvania’s campus. 

While the jack-o’-lanterns are returning to the steps of historic Old Morrison, this year’s event will look somewhat different than previous years. The Transylvania and Lexington communities are invited to carve pumpkins Oct. 24 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free, timed tickets are required for those wishing to participate. Reserve pumpkin carving tickets here. 

The outdoor event is scheduled to take place near Old Morrison, where ticket holders will check in and be assigned a carving location and pumpkins. Under the current Healthy at Transy guidelines, masks are not required outdoors for individuals who are fully vaccinated and are expected for those who are not. In the event of inclement weather, the carving will be moved indoors and masks will be required for all in attendance regardless of their vaccination status. All campus visitors ages 12 and older are strongly encouraged to be fully vaccinated or to have received a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to arriving on campus. 

The PumpkinMania display will be lit for four nights – rain or shine – Oct. 25-28, though unlike previous years, there will not be a separate event for lighting the pumpkins.