Free tonight? Goggle at 3,000 pumpkins aglow by the water

It’s that time of year so soak up the Halloween spirit on the water’s edge this weekend. Then join in the scramble to grab a carved pumpkin for free

Despite being mere astroturf-covered concrete, Granary Square’s canalside steps do an amazing job of seasonal transformation. In the summer they’re a place to hang out, eat lunch; and in the winter, a perch for reflection under steely-grey skies.

True to form, this Halloween a whopping three thousand candle-lit pumpkins sets the tone: in place from tonight, Thursday 30th, to Saturday 1 November, they’ll form a sea of twinkling lights and grimacing faces designed to, well, freak you out a bit. It is that time of year, after all. (Weird though that the weather’s set to reach a scorchio 21 degrees, isn’t it?)

Men at work today, Thurs 30, installing the pumpkins. Photo: John Sturrock
Men at work today, Thurs 30, installing the pumpkins. Photo: John Sturrock

The pumpkins are being created by Global Generation and what they call their “master carvers”, but visitors are also being encouraged to bring along their own Hallowe’en masterpieces to be put on display.

Even better, you’re encouraged to dine on a feast made from the innards. Once the installation is finished the thousands of pumpkins all need to go to good homes, so on Saturday there’ll be a mass giveaway, with locals encouraged to come and collect either an uncarved or carved one for free.


If you’ve never prepared squash, fear not: you can also pick up a handy recipe card with roasting tips courtesy of uber-Granary Square restaurants Grain Store and Dishoom.

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The pumpkin-fest starts tonight until Saturday on the canalside steps, Granary Square. Free, with freebies.

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