New York City

Annual Pumpkin Flotilla Brings Harlem Residents Together

100 pumpkins took float on the Harlem Meer lake in Central Park

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Hundreds of attendees gathered for the annual Pumpkin Flotilla on the Harlem Meer in Central Park at twilight on Oct. 28.

The first 100 carved pumpkins submitted by attendees were attached to wooden planks and strung together on the back of two kayaks.

Nicole Velasquez said she drew inspiration for her carved pumpkin from images on the website Pinterest.

“This is my first time. I like these kinds of things. I saw a picture on Instagram and came here with my friend,” said Velasquez.

The annual flotilla brings residents of all ages to celebrate the Halloween season.

“The parents are as excited as the kids, and that’s great. We shouldn’t grow up,” said Harlem resident Debi Kops.

The event is put on by the Central Park Conservancy and has been going on for nearly 30 years.

The flotilla used to take place at the Central Park Pool before moving to the Harlem Meer in 1993, according to Kaitlin Holt, Associate Director of Interpretation and Public Programs for the Central Park Conservancy.

“The Central Park Conversancy is the steward of Central Park. We have a relationship with New York City to actually manage all of the day to day upkeep and ongoing conservation work for Central Park,” said Holt.

Holt said the Conservancy is looking to open a new community space sometime in the next few years called the Harlem Meer center where attendees will be able view the flotilla from brand new vantage points.

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