Children are back to school and Meals on Wheels of Salem County is busy preparing for its annual Giant Pumpkin Carve, scheduled for September 29th from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the Salem County Fair Grounds in Pilesgrove, NJ. The event features more than 60 giant pumpkins which volunteers, both professional and amateur, carve into works of art for the public to enjoy, and vote on the winners.

This fall festival is Meals on Wheels’ largest fundraising event of the year.  “Traditionally the goal has been to raise enough funds to cover a quarter of the nearly 45,000 meals we serve each year,” Executive Director, Carly Melchert explained. “Last year our event won ‘Best Community Event’ in Salem County. And this year we’ve added even more fun activities including a free scarecrow competition, a live pumpkin carving demonstration, a visit from Captain Hook, a bobbing for apples contest and food trucks,” Melchert continued. She also noted that, “with the uncertainties of the Older Americans Act and government funding, we are relying even more on the Giant Pumpkin Carve to support our mission.  Each ticket purchased for the event represents the cost of one meal for a hungry senior in Salem County.”

Other family friendly activities you won’t want to miss include hayrides, costume contest and parade, pumpkin pie eating contest, pony rides, balloon artist, crafters, a basket auction, games such as pumpkin checkers and a DJ!

Students or adults interested in volunteering during the event or who would like to volunteer to carve one of the giant pumpkins should contact Teresa Christoff by email at Those interested in the scarecrow contest should contact Carly Melchert by email at . Information can also be found online at

Giant Pumpkin Carve Event Schedule
Saturday, September 29

  • 4:00-9:00 pm: Giant Pumpkin Carve Display
  • 4:15 pm: Color Guard presentation by the Civil Air patrol
  • 5:00 pm: Costume Parade & Contest – Registration available until 4:45, Parade Line up 4:55pm
  • 5:30-6:30pm: Live Carving Demonstration
  • 5:45 pm: Monster Mash Dance Contest – no registration needed
  • 6:15 pm: Bobbing for Apples Contest (Children 4-7yr, Youth 8-12yr, Juniors 13-17) – Registration available until 5:45
  • 7:00 pm: Pound Fitness Interactive Demo with the HipHop Shop
  • 7:30 pm: Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest (Youth 8-12yr, Juniors 13-17, Adult 18yr+) – Registration available until 7:00
  • 8:15 pm: Auction of Donated Baskets
  • 8:30 pm: Winners of Pumpkin Carving & Haunted Hole in One Announced
  • 9:00 pm: Event Closes