Crowds turn out to paint pumpkins at the Cultural Center

Oct 19, 2019

The Olde Southworth Library in Padanaram was buzzing with activity on Saturday afternoon as dozens of kids and parents crowded in to attend the second annual free Halloween pumpkin painting at the Dartmouth Cultural Center.

Kids sat at three large newspaper-lined tables, using paper plates as palettes to paint the pumpkins while parents watched.

Hair dryers at one wall served as a drying station for parents, who squeezed past each other to line up, carrying pumpkins dripping with color.

“It’s better to be crowded than sparse,” said Jill Law, President of the DCC, with a wry smile. 

Still, she said, “I think we’ll do it downstairs next year.” The space downstairs can accommodate around 40 children a bit more comfortably.

“We’re always trying to get people in here,” Law noted. “We want people to know that there is a Dartmouth Cultural Center, because a lot of people don’t know ⁠— even residents don’t know.”

If awareness is the Cultural Center’s goal, the event was a success.

The number of people who turned up took Law somewhat by surprise. “Last year we had about 12,” she said, adding that this year around 40 children came in to paint pumpkins in just the first half hour.

“It’s a madhouse,” she said. “And that’s what it should be.”

Dartmouth resident Shannon Ferreira brought her three children to paint some pumpkins. “It’s great! The kids are loving it,” she said. “They’re having a good time painting. It’s really fun. It’s a nice community project.”

Heather Fredette saw the event advertised in the newspaper. “It’s a great kind of event for the kids to take part in,” she said. “It was free, and it’s the season. They had a blast. I mean, they’re still going at it.”

“We’re on monochromatic pumpkins, but it’s okay,” she added with a laugh.

“My favorite part is the curtain that I’m making for Foxy’s pirate cove,” said eight-year-old Mia Gomes, painting a purple curtain on her Foxy the Pirate-themed pumpkin. She plans to dress up as Foxy this Halloween.

Four-year-old Kennedy Whitfield, on the other hand, is planning on dressing up as Harley Quinn ⁠— an idea she may have gotten from her seven-year-old sister Kaliana, who was painting a flamingo with glitter on a younger child’s face.

Kaliana was helping mom Kelsey Brooks facepaint at the event as a volunteer, while her younger sister painted a rainbow on a pumpkin, starting with green.

“I like to paint,” Kennedy said.