YARDLEY BOROUGH >> Imagine walking along the beautiful Delaware Canal in historic Yardley Borough on a crisp fall day around Halloween.
As the sun sets in the salmon sky and the twilight settles in, dozens of carved pumpkins, flickering with warm light, guide your way forward for a third of a mile. It's quiet, serene and natural, back to the origins of Halloween and All Souls Day.
Experience Yardley's popular "Canal-O-Ween" returns for its 11th year with lots of pumpkin carving and the Jack-O-Lantern Stroll from Sunday, Oct. 27 to Saturday, Nov. 2.
"Canal-O-Ween is simply about carving pumpkins, lighting them and sharing the simple beauty of the fall season, without expectations, fees or frenetic activity. It's an opportunity to celebrate the changing of the year towards darkness and the creativity of others with a stroll along the historic canal as the perfect background," notes Stephanie McCann, 2019 co-leader of Team Canal-O-Ween.
“Thanks to Bucks County Community College, our 2019 Canal-O-Ween sponsor, ShopRite of Yardley, the Jack-O-Lantern Stroll sponsor, and our fire sponsors - Nottingham Insurance, and Bucks Ship & Print - we are sure to have even more pumpkins on display than in prior years,” said McCann.
Canal-O-Ween kicks-off with the Carve-O-Thon on Oct. 27 from noon to 3 p.m. sponsored this year by McCaffrey’s Food Market (which is also supplying hot dogs, treats, and cider for event participants and volunteers), Makefield Insurance Agency, Customers Bank, Yardley Inn Restaurant & Bar, Appletini Photography, LECK Waste Services, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance at which hundreds of amateur carvers of all ages are expected to carve some 400 Jack-O-Lanterns in three hours.
The Carve-O-Thon will be held this year at the PECO Lot at the northwest corner of Morgan and Fuld avenues in Yardley Borough’s Rivermawr neighborhood.
In addition to a whole lot of pumpkin carving, Appletini Photography will be offering free fall photo prints, and Macaroni Kid Lower Bucks County will have some pumpkin-themed games for the little ones.
The Carve-O-Thon will occur regardless of weather and there will be a large tent available for those who come out to the event. Participants should prepare accordingly for outdoor fun in whatever conditions are predicted.
Canal-O-Ween week (Oct. 27 to Nov. 2) features the annual Jack-O-Lantern Stroll - a daily lighting of all of the carved pumpkins along the canal north of the Afton Avenue bridge for 1/4 mile. To make an evening of it, “strollers” can easily park in town, take the opportunity to visit some of Yardley’s great array of restaurants and businesses, and then walk down on foot to the canal. For those wanting to park closer, the PECO lot at the end of Fuld Ave. is the best place to go.
Beginning at sundown (by 6 p.m. rain, wind, snow or shine), the canal will be lined with hundreds of candle-lit jack-o-lanterns, creating a magical display that will delight all ages. Pumpkins stay lit for four hours or more, depending on conditions.
“An estimated 40,000 people did the Stroll for its 10th Anniversary in 2018, and we expect good-sized crowds again this year, albeit not quite as large,” noted Jef Buehler, president of Experience Yardley and Canal-O-Ween founder. “The over 3,000 candles and hundreds of votive glasses that are needed to make the Stroll happen are made possible by our Night’s Lighting sponsors: Spearhead, Cramer's Bakery, Grand Affair Party Rentals, The Continental Tavern, T. Foster & Co. Fine Jewelers, Kim Rock from Keller Williams Real Estate, and Canal Street Grille. And for the fifth year in a row we will be displaying an extra-large pumpkin professionally carved by Bucks County artist and master sculptor Jeno Seitz and sponsored by Charlann Farms and Ken’s Lawn Service.”
“The greater Yardley community has embraced Canal-O-Ween again this year,” said McCann. “We have so many great volunteers signing up to help in all phases of this unique week-long event, wonderful business and institutional sponsors, and the Borough and Police Department are going out of their way to ensure a fantastic and safe experience for all who come.”