Michael Watkins/ Courier Marc Vigil carves a pumpkin at his booth during Pumpkin Nights on the night of Monday, October 29, 2018.
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When an event is hyped on all social media platforms, held in celebration of a big holiday and located in a spacious setting, naturally the expectations are high. Unfortunately, expectations can lead to disappointment.

The Pomona Fairplex is showcasing local artists throughout the month of October at an event called Pumpkin Nights. What this entails is about a 30 minute trail filled with fake carved pumpkins, a scavenger hunt, poor ponies tired of giving pony rides and no Halloween music. But wait, there’s plenty of photo opportunity!

Thanks to the Night Owl specials, tickets were $14 after 8 p.m. plus there was not a line to get in. Perhaps maybe because people were spending their Saturday night more efficiently.

Upon entering, about a handful of vendors were circling around a small space. A long line led to a tunnel way entrance of fake carved pumpkins atop of everyone walking through. This alone took too long to get through, due to the excessive photos taken by families and couples.

“This is definitely geared for kids and maybe like [couples] on a first or second date,” Arya Williams stated.

At the end of the tunnel was an employee announcing how to participate in the scavenger hunt along the trail to enter a chance to win some kind of prize that no one was paying attention to, besides maybe the children.  

Finally, “Pumpkin Central,” the name of the maze that lead to eight different themed pumpkin lands. What was most eye catching was the lights surrounding the fake pumpkins with different carvings and an occasional real pumpkin leading a trail way to “magic around every corner.”

“I’m paying $15 for what? To walk around and look at Christmas lights? I did that last year at LA Zoo Lights,” Katrin Divinets said.

 

Though the lights were appealing as well as the photo opportunities, getting closer to the end of the trail, more disappointment followed. In “Pirate’s Cove” came a trail way separating into two parts. Something to get excited about, until choosing the unknown trail that steered right.

“Hi folks, this is an extra kids section. Kids can dig for treasure,” an employee stated with emphasis on the “kids.”

Reaching the end, were some of the saddest looking ponies. It was highly doubtful that they wanted to give pony rides to children at almost 10 p.m.

Finally, completing what felt like a walk around only a quarter of a block was a Drive-In Theater playing “The Longest Yard.” Shocker that it was completely unrelated to Halloween.

“They should charge $5 dollars for this,” Anahi Ornelas said.

Thank goodness for those Christmas lights and fake pumpkins. It made for great photo opportunities to upload on social media. Except what’s posted online is deceiving, especially on the Pumpkin Nights Fest’s Instagram. Keep in mind that all those appealing pictures were taken at the Minneapolis location.

This is well worth the visit if you’re under the age of 10, on a first date or if you couldn’t care less about getting into the true Halloween spirit.

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