October’s Awesome Ottawa award goes to Ott Mahmud to support Pumpkin Alley, in Old Ottawa South.
“Pumpkin Alley started about seven years ago as a way to bring the Old Ottawa South community together in the lead-up to Halloween,” explains Ott. “Neighbours get together in weather sunny and rainy, warm and chilly, to carve pumpkins together. On Halloween night,” she continues, “the pumpkins populate Woodbine alley between Roslyn and the new Percy Taverner Park, at the end of Carlyle. Little people, big people, artists, and newbies, our carvers sometimes create one stand-alone jack-o-lantern, or sometimes themed groups of them.”
“Each year we create more masterpieces,” says Ott. “We started with 100, then 200. Last year we had 500! Can you imagine 500 pumpkins all glowing down the alley, making magic for the hundreds of trick or treaters that flock to our neighborhood? We don't really advertise – people just ‘discover’ it.”
Volunteers are welcome to come out to help in the days before Halloween. Pumpkins will be gutted Saturday and Sunday, October 27 and 28, at noon, and carved Monday and Tuesday, October 29 and 30, at 3 PM. Lighting of the pumpkins will be at 3 PM on October 31. For more information, visit the Old Ottawa South Pumpkin Alley Facebook page.
Ott helps run the before and after school program at a local school, and was previously the operator of Long Bay Arts Camp.
Funded by Ottawa, ON (October 2018)