One Painting, One Story: Pumpkins!

by Suzanne Heron.

Who remembers when you first saw the fantastic array of jack o’ lanterns along the Mt. Douglas Parkway?

Turns out this is not the only spot. I’ve seen them along the Gorge, so I wondered about this fun little Victoria ritual. A post to the “Victoria . . . then” Facebook page brought forth pumpkins gathering much farther afield: on Veteran’s Memorial Parkway near Latoria  – along Jingle Pot Road in Nanaimo – in Sleepy Hollow, between Lake Cowichan and Honeymoon Bay – in Ladysmith – on Osborne Bat Road in Crofton . . . 

Back in Mount Douglas Park, the pumpkins stay for about a week, before being collected by District of Saanich crews for composting. An article in the Saanich News from 2017 says usually there are 200 – 300 wonderful jack o’ lanterns on display. It’s been happening for at least 20 years, but no one has been able to say who or how the tradition started. Someone suggested, “It started when somebody dropped off a pumpkin, and then somebody else did the same. Kind of like the bunnies at Helmcken.” Or – perhaps it is the work of the Great Pumpkin?

For more on the mystery, read the article at

Happy Halloween!


p.s. This weekend I’ll be part of the Art Sea Studio Tour both Saturday and Sunday, at the Fallen Tree Studio/ Russell Nursery, 1370 Wain Road.

Next weekend the Christmas fairs start, with On The Ridge at Cordova Bay United Church, then Calico Christmas, Victorian Christmas, the Owl Fair in Fernwood, the Oaklands Winter Market, and finally the Dickens Fair in James Bay. Hope to see you along the way!

2 Responses to One Painting, One Story: Pumpkins!

  1. From a customer – “Interesting! In past years we have seen pumpkins all along the roadway on the way up to Ucluelet near Halloween. It was thru Cathedral Grove.”

    October 28, 2019 at 5:25 pm
  2. From a customer – “I believe the pumpkin on the road displays started on Jingle Pot Rd in Nanaimo. I remember my sister-in-law telling me about it years ago when they lived just off Jingle Pot. It was a few years after that, I believe, when the Greater Victoria crowd started with the Mt Douglas Parkway display. And of course, good things always spread!”

    October 28, 2019 at 5:26 pm