If you’re unfamiliar the Great Elizabeth Pumpkin Wall, it is one of Charlotte’s finest Halloween traditions.
Each year, community volunteers in the Elizabeth neighborhood pitch in to raise the wall a few days before kids in the neighborhood hit the pavement for trick or treating on Halloween.
Once the wall is constructed, the community comes together for a “carving party” featuring pumpkins provided by the Elizabeth Community Association (ECA), and the wall is filled with freshly-carved jack-o-lanters and lit up each night through Halloween.
The Wall’s history is rooted in political statements, having started back in 2004 to show support for Democratic candidate for President, John Kerry.
The overtly political messages continued over the years until 2013 when the ECA assumed responsibility for constructing the wall. Since the ECA took over, the messages have been less controversial with words like “LOVE”.
This year’s word will dip its toe back into the political waters but without a lean toward either political party, simply encouraging folks to “VOTE.”
The 2016 Pumpkin Wall was constructed this past weekend and is ready to be filled with pumpkins from our neighbors and anyone from the Charlotte community. This tradition exists solely because of the creativity and elbow grease from the members of the community.
It’s the type of thing that can happen in any community with a willingness to create something compelling.
Let’s take a look at what goes in to creating this Partition of Seasonal Gourds.
- 8 shelves to fill with pumpkins
- 3 hours to construct the wall
- 60 feet long (this year’s wall is actually an entire section longer than last year’s)
- 20 feet high (reaching the top shelf often requires stretching the limits of ladder safety)
- 300 two and a half-inch screws
- 7 support beams, each with their own support board staked into the ground
- 34 individual shelf boards
- 8 cordless drills. Can’t have too many of these.
And most importantly….
- 12 volunteers from the neighborhood giving up a few hours of their weekend to make it happen
Come check out the wall this weekend for yourself in all its illuminated glory.
The carving party and free pumpkins are intended for Elizabeth residents, but everyone in the Charlotte community is invited to come add their own pumpkin or just check out the wall, which is really something and an example of what can happen when a community bands together for the sole intention of creating something enjoyable for all.
What: The Great Elizabeth Pumpkin Wall
Where: 721 Clement Ave in the Elizabeth Neighborhood (same spot as last year)
When: Neighborhood Carving Party is on Saturday, October 29 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Wall will stay up and filled with pumpkins until Tuesday, November 1
Who: Elizabeth residents are invited to come carve a pumpkin for free, but any and all are welcome to bring a pumpkin to put on the wall or stop by to see the wall and take pictures
Why: From 2004-2012, to advocate for political candidates and causes. From 2013-Present, just to be an awesome thing in one of Charlotte’s quirky historic neighborhoods
How: with what seemed like 3,000 screws, some rope, a couple rickety ladders, and a whole mess of awesome neighborhood volunteers