Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular canceled Saturday as nor’easter looms


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Those who were looking to participate in a local Halloween tradition Saturday night will now have to reschedule because of an impending nor’easter.

The Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams Park Zoo has been canceled for Saturday night, though zoo officials anticipate it will reopen on Sunday. The annual show that runs from October through early November includes thousands of intricately carved pumpkins along a marked trail through the zoo.

The storm is expected to bring widespread rain – falling heavy at times – and strong winds Saturday morning and afternoon. Potential wind gusts of 45-55 mph could lead to isolated tree damage and power outages while a Flash Flood Watch has been issued with rainfall amounts of 1-3 inches expected. Strong, isolated thunderstorms are also possible in the afternoon before the rain begins to taper off Saturday evening.

Director of Operations at Roger Williams Park Zoo Ron Patalano said crews are working to secure the decorations and tents that are not tied down before the storm hits. He said they do plan to keep the pumpkins outside through the duration of the storm.

“We don’t know what the trail is going to look like, after a storm like this,” he said. “If we do get heavier winds, we have trees out there, the trail is susceptible.”

Patalano said they are acting out of an abundance of caution by closing the trail Saturday night.

For those who haven’t seen the show yet this year, Patalano said there are still plenty of pumpkins to see the following weekend.

“This is going to be our third swap out of pumpkins, so we have a lot of pumpkins left for the show,” he said. “They’re going to put them all out, so if you come between now and next Sunday, you’re going to see a lot of pumpkins on the trail.”

Patalano said the zoo said closing the trail is not unusual, as they had to close the trail at least once last year due to severe weather.

He said the Saturday before Halloween is usually one of the busiest days for the show and while they hate having to close at all, they have to do what is safest for attendees.

“Safety comes first, we want to make sure it is an enjoyable experience,” Patalano said.

Those who pre-purchased tickets for Saturday night can use their tickets on the remaining weekend of the show. Anyone looking for a refund can contact the zoo’s Visitors Services Department at (401) 785-3510.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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