On Oct. 22 and 23 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., the Downtown Market in Grand Rapids will transform into a Halloween paradise for the family during the Market’s first Jack O’Lantern Jamboree event.

Guests can watch as professional pumpkin carvers turn ordinary pumpkins into beautiful works of art on Sunday. After a little inspiration from the professionals, visitors can pick out pumpkins to purchase at the outdoor pumpkin patch. Those who love to carve but hate the mess can head upstairs and carve their pumpkins in the Market’s banquet room to avoid the cleanup.

In addition to pumpkin carving, free activities for kids include face-painting and decorating their own mini-pumpkins to take home.

For the 21+ crowd, the Market bar will serve a variety of pumpkin beers and cocktails throughout the weekend.

Pumpkin Pie Margarita

  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 ounces tequila
  • 2 ounces pumpkin pie simple syrup*
  • 1/2 ounce orange liquor
  • salt, cinnamon and sugar for glass rim

Rim glass with salt, sugar and cinnamon. Shake all ingredients. Strain into ice filled glass. Garnish with lime wheel.

Pumpkin Pie Simple Syrup

  • 1 can of pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • Nutmeg to taste
  • water for texture, about 1 cup

Heat all ingredients in sauce pan. Stir on low for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, chill completely. Store in refrigerator.

On Saturday evening, the “Jack O’Drinks” cocktail class in the teaching kitchen will explore the flavors of pumpkin, including sampling pumpkin beers, shaking up a Pumpkin Spice Margarita, and creating a Jack O’ Lantern Whiskey Cocktail.

Advance signup for class is required. Click here to register.

For more information on the Downtown Market and the Jack O' Lantern Jamboree, please click here.