Melrose Recreation Department kicks off first citywide Rise of the Pumpkin People Halloween event – News – Melrose Free Press

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Gather your pumpkins, scarecrows, and other Halloween decorations for the first ever Wicked Melrose Rise of the Pumpkin People.

Melrose Together, in partnership with the Melrose Recreation Department (MRD), is hosting the first ever citywide Wicked Melrose Rise of the Pumpkin People event. Melrosians and local businesses are encouraged to decorate their front lawn or window display with a pumpkin or scarecrow for people to enjoy leading up to Halloween.

Melrose Together is a volunteer subgroup of Melrose Helps, an initiative started by Mayor Paul Brodeur, that helps neighbors in need in the city of Melrose. They organize community events within the time of the current pandemic, and have hosted past events like Unicorn Day, Picnic Day, and #ClapBecauseWeCare Friday Nights. Wicked Melrose Rise of the Pumpkin People is their latest initiative to bring people together in the time of COVID-19, and just in time for Halloween.

“We know people love to decorate their houses for Halloween,” Melrose Together member Jennifer Leclerc said. “In the spirit of maintaining a sense of community during the pandemic, we’re partnering with the MRD to take things to the next level.”

The idea is to create a display of a scarecrow, or “pumpkin people” characters on your front lawn or porch. Any supplies can be used, and can show pop culture icons, movie or cartoon characters, spooky Halloween scenes, or any creative idea.

“The reason we’re specifically promoting pumpkin people scarecrows is so we can come together as a community over a shared creative theme,” Leclerc said. “It becomes special and unique, sparks conversation, and brings Melrose together.”

Pumpkin people displays have become popular in other towns and communities, mainly in parts of New Hampshire, which is how Melrose Together got the idea to bring the initiative to the city.

“It’s one thing to decorate your house,” Melrose Together member Linda Apple said. “It’s another thing to share a common experience with other people in your neighborhood or community.”

Making a pumpkin people display is a way for Melrosians to actively participate in something creative, and do something together. At the beginning of the pandemic, mainly during quarantine, many turned to the arts and creative activities.

“People turn to creative activities during times of stress like we’re in now,” Leclerc said. “We might not be in quarantine anymore, but we still have to be careful.”

People don’t need to go out and buy new decorations for this event, and are encouraged to use any objects found around their house to design their theme and be as creative as they can.

“This should not cost you any money,” Apple said. “It’s a DIY activity, so be as creative as you want.”

There will be a digital map of pumpkin people displays for people to use as they walk around the city. Melrose Together is hoping Melrosians will take part in the excitement of the event and go on a tour of Melrose.

“You will be able to walk around with your family and see peoples creations,” Apple said. “You may walk down a street that you’ve never been down before and meet a new neighbor, or see something that inspires you to be creative.”

The event kicks off on Oct 16 when the DPW decorates Melrose City Hall lawn with its own pumpkin people display. The digital map of houses and businesses that are participating will be available on the Melrose Together website. The deadline to have your house or business listed is Oct. 29 at 9 p.m.

“I am very grateful that the city has been able to partner with local volunteers to create a special way of celebrating Halloween safely during the pandemic,” Brodeur said. “I hope all Melrosians will join in the fun and put their creative energy to work making this the spookiest Halloween ever.”

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