"Hollowed Harvest" pumpkin display draws thousands to Altamont Fairgrounds

Written by:

Emily Burkhard

ALTAMONT - Now that October is here, many people are looking to get into the Halloween spirit. But, traditional hayrides and haunted houses have had to be adapted because of the pandemic.

Fortunately, there are a few alternatives, including a new attraction at Altamont Fairgrounds called "Hollowed Harvest."

The displays feature over 7,000 hand carved pumpkins, each of them representing a different theme, like dinosaurs, skeletons and even aliens. It's already become very popular, with the first two weekends selling out. "My daughter really liked the dinosaurs and my son liked the transformers,” Stephanie Reynante said. Initially organizers planned to have food, drinks, even psychic readings available on the grounds but due to the pandemic, many of those activities got the axe. Still, families are flocking to the fairgrounds to see the impressive pumpkin. Many of them dressing up for the occasion.

"We decided to come together to get the kids together because they've been around each other and it's outdoors so it seems like a safe choice,” Rebekah O’Neil said. Everyone is required to wear a mask and they must stay in the groups they came with. Vendors are only accepting card payments for food and drink purchases to reduce spreading germs by exchanging cash. Guests can only go one way through the displays as well. Event manager Peter Hughes said this year's display will act as a beta test, not only for more displays at Altamont Fairgrounds in the future, but for other potential locations across the country as well. Though they had to scale back some of their plans because of the pandemic, Hughes said it's still been a huge hit with guests. "They want to tell you, you see giant smiles, you can tell with their eyes,” Hughes said. “They are super excited. They want to tell you what their favorite display was."

So NewsChannel 13 asked some younger guests what they thought.

"I liked the pumpkins,” Ethan Reynante said. “The one with the shark teeth."

"The mermaids," Abigail O'Neil said.

Guests must purchase tickets ahead of time online. You can find more information on the Hollowed Harvest website.

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