First Pumpkin Palooza was a “smashing” success

For 11 hours last Saturday, from noon to 11 p.m., parents and children alike went down to 420 D St. in South Boston to partake in a more wholesome and family friendly Halloween extravaganza orchestrated by The Lawn on D, powered by Citizens Bank, known as the Pumpkin Palooza. 

What could one expect to find at the Pumpkin Palooza?

Pumpkins, pumpkin carving stations, pumpkins, pumpkin flavored beverages, more pumpkins and also an entire field stocked with quite literally nothing but hundreds of layered pumpkins.

What else was there?

Throughout the day, everything from train rides to face painting to even a circus workshop with Esh Circus Arts, which bills itself as Boston’s premier circus arts instruction program.

A variety of live entertainers roamed the lawn, such as LED Dancers, Parris the Juggler, Evan the Magician and numerous fire dancers, all of whom contributed to an atmosphere that will create lasting memories for years to come.

For the after-hour adventurers, two live music performances were held by As the Sparrows at 7 p.m. and then another by Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys one hour later.

While the children were frolicking throughout the background, enjoying anything from a leisurely swing ride on the centerfold swing set to competing in a match of table tennis at any one of the dozen ping pong tables, parents had the ability to relax in comfort with food and drinks.

With all of this sounding so extravagant, it seems impossible that a basic autumn threaded attraction like a field of pumpkins could stand out as one of the premier play components.

In fact, Boston resident Cali Merton spent a lengthy amount of time with her three kids in this pumpkin patch and she says they were having a ball.

“At least for the toddlers, they could have just bought hundreds of pumpkins, layered them like this, and my two would be having just as much fun,” Merton said. “The power of imagination I guess. I can tell my older one wants to do those swing things now though.”

In the case of Merton’s slightly older child, a trip on the train is what caught his fancy upon first glance.

“I could tell he wanted to do that train thing right when we got here,” Merton said.

The train ride being referred to above consisted of about a half dozen or so multi-colored mini carts and fit two passengers per cart.

The train was routed to travel all the way around the Lawn D Park, allowing the passengers on board to see an up close view of everything there was to behold.

Merton’s toddlers were not the only ones to share in the joy of this sea of orange, as tons and tons of children could be seen running up and down and left to right, navigating throughout the seamlessly never-ending rows of pumpkin columns, including Boston resident Jim Farrell and his 1-year-old daughter, Anna.

Farrell said what he truly enjoyed about the day was seeing the diversity of children of all ethnicities, ages and abilities uniting in play.

“It’s really great,” Farrell said. “It’s good to have something like this in walking distance from the city. Just seeing different kids from different families all playing together just having a good time is really cool.”

Beyond the beauty of a play space terrain shared by all walks of children, Merton said she saw another beauty, which was the feeling of awe she believes her children experienced when first entering the park earlier that day.

“I mean, you could see fire dancers, jugglers, huge light up swings and a train ride right when you walked in,” Merton said.