Thriller. On repeat. That’s how I get into my own “Spirited” State of Mind. Is there any greater October anthem? (Fun fact: You can sign-up for “Thriller” dance lessons and then perform with other “zombies” on Halloween night in NYC’s Village Halloween Parade. You know you want to!)
Last night, on the 1st of October, it was a calm and crisp evening in the Hudson Valley — and almost impossible not to allow the fall spirit to move you. A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon photographs online of The Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze (Van Cortlandt Manor, 525 S. Riverside Avenue, Croton-on-Hudson, NY. 914-366-6900), a walking event experience involving some slightly ghoulish -- and some not so much -- scenes and sculptures made of THOUSANDS of jack o’ lanterns. I immediately purchased a ticket. (Tickets are going FAST. Be sure to get yours now if you'd like to go: Adults, $20; Children 3-17, $16; Fridays and Saturdays: $25, $20; Free for children under 3 and members; Children under 3 do not need a ticket.) A trip up to and near the legendary and spooky Sleepy Hollow seemed like a great way to kick off the month.
The grounds nestled under a waxing moon and long-limbed trees reaching out overhead, uplit in purples, reds, and blues, the disintegration of fog machine output in the distance, the Halloween spirit hauntingly consumed me.
As someone who has produced countless events, kudos to the creators and staff for all the little details in place for patrons to enjoy, from the all-things-pumpkin gift tent and food and drink welcoming village (try the hot apple cider) complete with candy corn colored string lights, to the just-spooky-enough soundtrack and metal lanterns, illuminated by live flame tapered candles, that lined the brick and dirt walking path and guided us through this flawless Halloween adventure.
The Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze is appropriate for all ages and would pair well with a classic daytime New York fall foliage ride, if you can wait until a little later in the month.
The Halloween and fall season spirits are the most obvious celebratory ones in October, but let’s not forget about distilled spirits (this crafted culture is alive and well in New York State), the fun-loving free spirits of the world who remind us to be different, and finally, team spirit, which coincidently leads nicely into: We turned 5 yesterday! Happy Birthday to us! Our operations team and the artists we work (hard) with, together, pour a lot of love and creativity into New York Makers.
Cheers to October and the many kinds of spirits that make it so wonderful!
Image via Pinterest