The Halloween spirit has arrived at the Pomona Fairplex, as Pumpkin Nights have returned for their second year.
Now through Nov. 3, guests are able to travel through different “lands” that showcase over 6,000 real and synthetic pumpkins that have been hand-carved by various artists.
Upon arrival, attendees are greeted to the sound of Halloween music while the smells of barbequed beef and sweet funnel cake fills the air.
Catering to your sweet tooth, there are booths that feature funnel cakes, ice cream and donuts as well as other savory foods such as tacos and barbequed items.
“The families and the kids, they love it; it fills a niche and is a really good family environment while also filling the niche of people who like art,” said Tom Newman, lead carpenter of Pomona.
Each night, there are live pumpkin artists who are able to interact and showcase their carving talents.
It is things like this that allow Pumpkin Nights to evolve through the course of their stay and present each night as a new experience.
“Monster Mash” is an area where everyone is encouraged to let out their inner child and partake in playful games such as the teeter totter. Within this area, there is entertainment for everyone to indulge in such as pumpkin bowling, which features life-size candy corned pins.
To help you get in the spirit, costumes are encouraged for the enjoyment of all guests and ages.
“It has definitely met our expectations and we saw that it says costumes are welcome, so we came all decked out,” said Chrystal Pelayo, a guest at the event.
Event director Joe Coddington said creators prepare year-round to ensure that guests receive a multi-dimensional experience.
Building and preparation for the festivities began on Sept. 27, in which employees put in 12-hour days to ensure everything was ready.
While the terrain of the Fairplex is something unique to the Pomona location, it allows creative minds to fly as they have to build structures for the different “lands” and fill empty space.
While the preparation can be stressful, Coddington says, “Once you see people starting to come through and you get to see their excitement and see them visualize the magic you are creating, that makes it all worth it.”
Magic is something Coddington hopes all guests are able to experience as they walk through the event.
It is this magic that comes to life as each themed land provides its own unique element, such as the pumpkin-scented fog that guides you through the “Great Pumpkin Hall.”
Staying in tune to such a digital society, most lands include a photo opportunity paired with special lighting so that guests are able to capture their perfect photo moment.
If one needs a rest break, the night also features a movie screening of some holiday favorites such as “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”
Coddington says the event commonly sells out most days, however, “Just because we are sold out doesn’t mean we can’t get you in. It just is not guaranteed,” he said.
With hopes that everyone is able to experience the festivities, Coddington says his No. 1 priority is to take care of his guests.
With the exception of being closed on Halloween, tickets for Pumpkin Nights are available for purchase with time slots beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Other locations of Pumpkin Nights include Santa Rosa, Salt Lake City, Denver and Dallas.
To purchase tickets or for additional information, visit www.PumpkinNights.com.