October 4, 2010 – Return of the Pumpkin People sounds like it would be a horror movie. But it’s not. At least not until they film Pumpkin People first. Until then, Return of the Pumpkin People is a Fall event held by the White Mountains town of Jackson, NH. On October 1st, Jackson-area businesses and residences create and display life-sized characters with pumpkin heads on their properties. The Pumpkin People are then judged, with winners announced on Columbus Day, although the Pumpkin People stick around for a few weeks afterward. Meanwhile, everybody’s invited to pick up a Pumpkin People map from the participating properties, the Jackson Area Chamber of Congress, or online and have a blast tracking them all down.
According to that map, 47 different properties are participating this year, and, with each property erecting multiple characters, that’s a lot of Pumpkin People. Enough to take over the town, in fact (now we’ve got our horror movie…or at least a made-for-Disney-Channel Halloween movie). When we visited, we were expecting a lot of baseball-capped pumpkins perched on flannel-and-jeans bodies (not that there isn’t a certain type of charm to that). We were surprised to see the level of effort that went into making some of these Pumpkin People, though. In fact, we ended up tracking down more than we originally intended, just to see what could top an Alice in Wonderland tea party scene or a Jack Skellington (he is the Pumpkin King).
And, after seeing all those Pumpkin People, Jackson, NH, is definitely now my favorite Jackson.