The University of Connecticut’s Student Union Mall was buzzing with activity as Student Activities hosted its annual Pumpkinfest, a Halloween celebration on Tuesday Oct. 31. The event, held in cooperation with the Student Union administration, drew a crowd of students, faculty and local residents eager to partake in the excitement.
The outdoor festivities included a mechanical bull-style jack-o’-lantern ride, face painting and inflatable laser-tag games as well as promotional displays by local artisans and the Storrs-Mansfield Dunkin’ Donuts franchise. As part of the booth, samples of doughnuts and new drinks were offered with free gift cards.
“Being with people and seeing the costumes, it’s a good time,” said Deep Sandhu, a first-semester political science student.
Inside the Student Union, participants in costume enjoyed trick-or-treating on all four floors. Student Union departments alongside clubs and organizations distributed treats, and students from UConn’s Spring Valley Farm held a market table with farm-fresh produce and flowers for sale. “Sexperts” from Student Health and Wellness also hosted a game show-style booth where students could learn more about relationships and personal health for a chance to win safe sex supplies.
“I’m having a lot of fun… I fell off the pumpkin ride, though,” said John Wei, a first-semester biology major.
One of the festival’s main attractions was the opportunity to carve pumpkins for a large-scale art display. Every year, the Student Union arranges a pyramid of jack-o’-lanterns on Halloween night synchronized to music and a light show. Students showcased their artistic talents as they carved spooky and imaginative designs.
“I’m happy to see a larger event on campus, it looks really cool,” fourth semester students Isabel and Ancal remarked about the event. “The large setup for Dunkin’ should definitely come back.”
In addition to the fun, Pumpkinfest had a charitable element. The event raised funds for Huskython, in support of Connecticut Children’s Hospital. Attendees were encouraged to sign up as part of dance teams and to contribute to the cause.
As the sun set on the Student Union Mall, attendees left with hearts full of autumn cheer and memories of a delightful day. Students interested in being a part of major campus events like Pumpkinfest can find more information on the Student Activities webpage at studentactivities.uconn.edu.