By JOSH TUDELA
On the day after Halloween, the annual Pumpkin Parades will be coming to more than a dozen parks in East Toronto on Wednesday, Nov. 1.
Residents are welcomed to attend the parade at their local park by bringing their carved pumpkins for one more chance to be displayed at night and enjoyed by others before composting.
Locally, Pumpkin Parades will be taking place at De Grassi Street Parkette, 125 DeGrassi St.; Leslie Grove Park, 1158 Queen St. E; Withrow Park, 725 Logan Ave.; Phin Avenue Parkette, 115 Condor Ave.; Felstead Avenue Playground, 60 Felstead Ave.; Moncur Playground, 38 Robbins Ave.; East Lynn Park, 1949 Danforth Ave.; Cassels Avenue Playground, 69 Cassels Ave.; Norwood Park, 16 Norwood Rd.; Ed McCleverty Playground, 2230 Gerrard St. East; Dentonia Park, 80 Thyra Ave.; Oakridge Park, 3459 Danforth Ave.; and Sandown Park, 50 Natal Ave.
The tradition began at Sorauren Park in Parkdale in 2004 where community members came together at night to show off their carving skills and appreciate one-another’s jack-o-lanterns before they disposed of them.
Now community organizations, Business Improvement Areas, and city councilors often help to organize the Pumpkin Parades in local parks.
The parades’ give residents a last hooray of Halloween festivities while also making eco-friendly use of their now used pumpkins. All the pumpkins collected in bins by the City of Toronto post-event are processed as yard waste and turned into compost.
Some safety measures recommended for participants at the Pumpkin Parades are to carrying a flashlight or wear reflective tape/clothing, and to be prepared for wet weather and slippery terrain.
Attendees are also encouraged to post their favourite jack-o-lanterns to social media with the hashtag #PumpkinParadesTO.
For more information about the Pumpkin Parades in Toronto, please visit https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/festivals-events/pumpkin-parades/#location=&lat=&lng=