How to have a proper (not just for kids) pumpkin party…

I had never carved a pumpkin in my life before yesterday. I guess being British, it’s not something I’ve ever had the opportunity to try because we don’t tend to do things like that where I’m from. In fact, the whole idea of Halloween is something the English have only just started to take more seriously, and by that I mean they’ve started putting more sweets on the supermarket shelves in October. It’s nothing like it is here in Colorado, when there are sights like this on pretty much every street…

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YES. Your eyes are not deceiving you. It’s a squirrel eating a PUMPKIN! A fucking squirrel. Eating a pumpkin. I mean, you just don’t get things like this where I’m from.

Anyway, carving a pumpkin is a messy job. You have to ram your hand in there and wriggle it about, and grab fistfuls of flesh and feel it all squish up inside your rings and your fingernails and act like it’s fun, because it MUST be fun right? I mean, the whole of America is doing it, so I’m damn well gonna do it too, and I’m going to like it.

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I didn’t carve the whole thing. That would have taken all evening and I didn’t have time for that. After all, there was pumpkin beer to drink. There were hot dogs to consume and people to meet from all walks of life, standing on one another’s porches in big coats and scarves, buzzing on tradition and hot apple cider, and getting their teeth stuck into candy apples. Talking about squirrels.

My friend carved the rest of my pumpkin while I stood there going “ooooh, this is FUN!” and then he took my photo with it. We carved the OM sign into ours because no one else had carved a spiritual pumpkin yet and we thought there should probably be one.

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And then I fell under a spider’s legs…

DSC_0289Yeah, that bit was pretty cool. The spider was being attacked by some children in costume when I wandered up. One was Cinderella and one was a pirate. I told the pirate that the spider deserved love and acceptance like every other creature on the planet. He looked at me and smiled. Then he continued kicking the shit out of it. I laid underneath and asked Cinderella to rescue me in the hopes that they would work together to learn a lesson in compassion. They kind of left me there.

Then I made friends with some cool people in fancy dress and I felt like I was in a teen movie, which was awesome…

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Oh, but before it got dark, the street we were on looked like this.  This was the 20th Annual Marine Street Pumpkin Party here in Boulder – an event that has been going for… well, yeah… 20 years.

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It started out as an excuse to get the kids together to carve pumpkins and has grown and grown and grown on the same street over the years into something that would pretty much rival the Notting Hill Carnival back in London. There was even a Grammy award winning musician there last night, and several other bands. I particularly liked the yellow school bus which was blocking the street from traffic. Every house was open, and there were pumpkins on most of the roofs. In the day it looked like this…

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At night it looked better, with each grinning head glowing from the inside with strung-up fairy lights. I was a bit buzzed on pumpkin beer by then though, so I couldn’t really take a decent photo but needless to say, it was a brilliant introduction to autumn celebration and tradition here in my newest favourite place!

Maybe next year I’ll be a bit more adventurous with my pumpkin carving. I think the squirrel was more creative than me yesterday, to be honest.

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