Pumpkin Parades planned for number of East Toronto parks tonight

A number of local parks will be the site of Pumpkin Parades tonight (Nov. 1) as a fun farewell to Halloween.

Pumpkin Parades are returning to a number of Toronto parks on the night of Monday, Nov. 1, as a fun farewell to Halloween.

Jack-o’-lanterns can be brought by residents to more than 35 parks across the city, including many sites in East York and the Beach.

Some parks around the neighbourhood where residents can go to enjoy the jack-o’-lanterns are Dentonia Park, Stephenson Park, East Lynn Park, Moncur Playground, Felstead Avenue Playground, Phin Avenue Parkette, Leslie Grove Park, Withrow Park, and De Grassi Street Parkette.

Pumpkin Parades started in 2004 at Sorauren Park and grew to be a tradition where Toronto residents come together to show off their pumpkin carving skills.

Last year the parades were enjoyed virtually, but Mayor John Tory said that it’s great to see Pumpkin Parades return and that it’s a sign of the progress the city has made confronting COVID-19.

“This is a great opportunity to safely reconnect with your local community but also to check out the talented pumpkin carvers around the city,” he said in a press release.

Community organizations, Business Improvement Areas, and city councillors help organize the parades. After the parades are over, the pumpkins are picked up and processed into compost to be used in Toronto’s parks and gardens.

Scarborough-Rouge Park Councillor and Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee Jennifer McKelvie said she’s happy to see the return of Pumpkin Parades.

“To see Toronto parks come alive with light, laughter and excitement brings a sense of energy back to the city. We are proud to work with local community organizations to continue to support these kinds of events,” she said in a press release.

This year, attendees are asked to use only designated entry and exit points to the parks for the Pumpkin Parades, and to wear a face mask when social distancing isn’t possible to ensure the event is safe for everyone.

People are also encouraged to follow Halloween safety tips such as carrying a flashlight or reflective tape on clothing and to be prepared for wet weather and terrain.

Attendees can post their favourite jack-o’-lanterns to social media using the hashtag #PumpkinParades.

A map of all Pumpkin Parades is available at http://toronto.ca/pumpkinparades.

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