Welcome to the Pumpkin House

Published 12:27 am Sunday, October 26, 2008

Take an unlimited amount of the imagination nurtured in childhood toss liberally with the ingenuity and discipline that comes with maturity. What do you get? The pumpkin patch.

Or more precisely the lawns in front of Kenova Mayor and businessman Ric Griffith when he goes crazy each year with pumpkins. From now until a few days into next month his home at 748 Beech St., will remain covered with 3,030 jack-o-lanterns with drawings of every imaginative ilk.

There are pumpkins with cats on their faces propped up against a tree looking up at pumpkins with owls carved into them. Over by the house is a wall of carved pumpkins, each one with an instrument of the orchestra carved across it face.

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At night a computerized program plays “The 1810 Overture” as each pumpkin lights up as its instrument takes a cue.

Both teams of candidates for the presidency will be immortalized in pumpkindom as department store mannequins bear pumpkins with the images of all four candidates.

This affair with pumpkins has been going on since 1978 when Griffith wanted to carve a jack-o-lantern for each of his three daughters and place them on the front porch railing. They looked so good sitting there, he thought more’s the better. Those three have grown into 31,000 pumpkins since 1978 thanks to Griffith and a devoted crew of volunteers who work through the night and day for most of October to create an attraction that has been featured on the Ellen Degeneres show and the Today Show.

The show is expected to open Thursday and hopefully will stay lit every night until a day or two after the election, depending on the weather and longevity of the featured players.