Upper Canada Village’s launch of the new Pumpkinferno, billed as ‘Eastern Ontario’s largest, boldest and most unique’ event has surpassed expectations with over 12,000 visitors through the gates in just seven days of operation.
That figure grew dramatically, this past Saturday night when 5,000 people showed up causing back ups on County Road 2 and a long wait despite the St. Lawrence Park’s Commission’s effort last week to speed up the entry process.
“Once again we will be trouble shooting,” said the Commission’s Corporate Marketing and Development officer, Susan Leclair, on Monday morning.
Leclair explained that after the big crowds on the weekend of October 11-13, measures were put in place last week that were expected to keep the flow moving. They included overflow parking and improved schematics for check in/ticket sales.
However, says Leclair, it didn’t take into account that there would be 5,000 visitors on a single night.
While the overflow parking and the entry (separate entry for prepaid, and five cashes open for sales) was in fact better for the visiting public, their success pushed the problem further up the line to a bottleneck which occurred just inside the village.
As one exits the Visitor Centre, the Pumpkinferno begins with a light show. Visitors then proceed to the first few exhibits along a narrow pathway around the grist mill. It was at the start to the narrow pathway, that the process slowed down Saturday night.
“While our team was prepared to have a robust visitation, the public reaction surged early in this event, resulting in some extended line ups,” said SLPC General Manager & CEO Darren Dalgleish, in a press release that was released late last week, prior to Saturday night’s huge attendance.
In the press release, Dalgleish added that, “our team has reacted quickly and streamlined the entrance processes which will be able to get visitors into the parking lot and through the gates much quicker this weekend. Other small adjustments inside the attraction will keep our guests moving at a timely pace during their walk through. It looks like Pumpkinferno is here to stay; based on the attendance to date and stellar feedback we are receiving from our guests.”
“We are driving a strategy of “product mix enrichment” and Pumpkinferno embodies this priority,” said Dalgleish. “The visitor response has been absolutely astonishing, far exceeding expectations.”
The phenomenal early success of Pumpkinferno has led to the addition of three extra days – November 1, 2 and 3 (Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights) – in order to accommodate the tremendous popularity of the event.
Pumpkinferno, an event to be enjoyed by all ages is a 45 minute walking tour through a mesmerizing installation of thousands of LED-lit pumpkins of all sizes. It is a unique blend of creative artistry and must be seen to be appreciated.
To speed entry into Pumpkinferno, advance ticket purchase is recommended and can be bought online at www.Pumpkinferno.com.
With a ticket in hand, visitors can then proceed directly to the Express Line-up for pre-paid tickets which will ensure quicker entry.
Combo tickets Fort Fright / Pumpkinferno ($20 general admission) or Pumpkinferno / Alight at Night (Adult $20; Senior/Youth $15) are also available.
Here’s what visitors are saying about their Pumpkinferno experience:
• “You have outdone yourself with this festival event. The level of artistry and imagination is outstanding.”
• “Awesome, fabulous carvings and display, a must see for all family members.”
• From OTTAWA: “Hundreds of pumpkins stacked into enormous scenes of stunning originality. The displays literally took our breath away. My kids asked if we could come back the very next night. Well worth the drive and affordable!”
• From CORNWALL: “This is Upper Canada Village’s new event SUPERSTAR! Original, creative and mind-blowing!”
• From KINGSTON: “So much buzz about this event we had to see for ourselves. It exceeded our expectations by miles! What a cool idea! Such energy and talent!”
•From WINCHESTER: “We did not really know what to expect. We found it difficult to move to the next display because the carving detail was overwhelming! Proud to have this event in our own backyard!”
• From MONTREAL: “Been to Alight at Night for years – had to think this was worth the trip. It sure was and then some. What an incredible creative idea – executed to the max! Nothing like this in Quebec! Tres Bien!”
Pumpkinferno is open on select nights from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. throughout October and into November: Thursday to Sunday, October 25, 26, 27, 28; Wednesday to Saturday, October 31 (Hallowe’en), November 1, 2, 3.
The event has affordable family friendly pricing of $10 Adult (13 to 64 years of age), $7 Senior (65+ years of age) / Youth (6 to 12 years of age) and is absolutely free for children five and under.