Grace Pumpkin Parade To Highlight Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Attendees of the 2018 Grace Pumpkin Parade march into Waryas Park in the City of Poughkeepsie. (courtesy/Grace Smith House, Inc.)

Attendees of the 2018 Grace Pumpkin Parade march into Waryas Park in the City of Poughkeepsie. (courtesy/Grace Smith House, Inc.)

Grace Smith House will be hosting their annual Grace Pumpkin Parade in Poughkeepsie on Saturday, October 19, from 11 am to 3 pm, line up for the parade starts at 10:30 am. Go ahead and don a costume, march, build a float, or just enjoy the day’s festivities as you show the community that you reject family violence.

Parade Route

The parade begins at Pulaski Park down by the Walkway Over The Hudson and will make its way through the city up to Main Street, ending at Waryas Park. There will be plenty of spots to spectate and cheer on the ghouls marching to empower survivors of domestic violence.

What is Grace Smith House?

Since 1981, Grace Smith House has provided residential and non-residential assistance for victims of domestic violence and their children. They provide emergency shelter, counseling, transitional housing, advocacy, legal assistance, preventative education and more to residents of Dutchess County, NY, and surrounding areas.

Their crisis hotline is available 24/7 at (845) 471-3033. Visit their website at

Yes, There Is A Kids Halloween Parade In Beacon And It's...

You all are getting ready for Halloween already, and are writing in to ask us if there is a Kids Halloween Parade this year. Yes, there is! Always check A Little Beacon Blog’s Events Calendar for yearly events.

The Kids Halloween Parade will be Sunday, October 27, 2019. We are getting details on this year’s start time and parade route. As of now, it is the same day as the rain date for the Beacon Car Show, which is Sunday, October 20. Hopefully the weather will be great that day, with no need for a rain date.

Read more about what to expect from this Halloween Parade in our article about it.

The Hocus Pocus Kids Halloween Parade This Weekend: How It Works


Day: Sunday, October 28, 2018 (Rain or Shine)
Lineup Time: 12 pm at the Visitors Center
Parade Start Time: 1 pm

Hocus Pocus Kids Halloween Parade, from the Beacon Chamber of Commerce

Every year, the Beacon Chamber of Commerce puts on the Kids Halloween Parade, known as the Hocus Pocus Parade.

Costumed kids start lining up at the Visitors Center at Polhill Park (the little triangle land at South Avenue/Route 9D and Main Street, near Bank Square and Beacon Creamery) for a parade all the way down Main Street stopping at the intersection of Verplanck Avenue and Main Street.

In years past, kids have trick-or-treated while they parade. However, according to the parade’s main organizer, Sheryl Glickman of Notions-n-Potions, the intent has been for participants to parade down the middle of Main Street, and head back up on the sidewalks to casually trick or treat from storefronts, and spend time visiting the shops and galleries. We checked in with Sheryl, and got the nitty-gritty details for you on how it all works:

How This Kids Halloween Parade Works

The lineup is at the Visitors Center, which is near Bank Square and Beacon Creamery. When the parade starts, the kids and parents march down the middle of Main Street showing off their costumes. This year, the parade route has been extended. It will end at the intersection of Main Street and Verplanck Avenue. Sheryl has indicated that the Beacon Jeep Club may lead the parade route. We shall see!

Extended Parade Route

Wait - slow down - Verplanck intersects with Main Street? Yes, it does! Allllll the way at the end of Main Street by the old train tracks and the former Hop location, which is now Melzingah Tap House. You will parade past the Howland Cultural Center, past the Dummy Light, past the Roundhouse, and you will parade past lots of art galleries and shops you may not have discovered yet on this slightly hidden end of Main Street, sometimes referred to as the East End Gem of Main Street. See A Little Beacon Blog’s Shopping Guide and Art Gallery Guide to familiarize yourself.

Collecting The Candy - Trick or Treating Back Up Main Street

The first step is the parade. Make sure you smile and wave! A firetruck will be bringing up the rear of the parade while police escorts lead the parade.

The second step will be trick or treating from storefronts on Main Street as you make your way back up - on the sidewalk! - from the end of the parade route. After everyone completes Phase 1 of the parade (the marching part), the street will be unblocked, and you and the kids will trick or treat on the sidewalk on the return trip back up Main Street. This gives people time to visit the storefronts, see what’s inside, and have an overall more casual experience.

Bonus Round - Cider

Before you head back, stop by The Roundhouse! They will once again be handing out cider on their outdoor patio.

Putting Up the Spooky Lights on Main Street

We’re setting up the spooky lights in the office ... After seeing orange, purple and pink Halloween 🎃 lights going up already on front porches of Beacon, we had to join in the spooky spirit!

Usually Home Depot has the glorious spread of Halloween yard decorations, but this year, Rite Aid in Beacon has enough choices on the shelves to do in a pinch. Brett’s Hardware, down on West Main, has the mums (flowers, not mummies!) and some other colored lights.

Happy Fall! 


Decorate That Pumpkin With A Power Drill! As Discovered In Pinterest

Katie's pumpkin once carved with a power drill to look like a beaded design.
Pumpkin "carved" with a power drill.
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin
Oh Pinterest, you never fail to make really unique designs actually look easy!

Examples of pumpkin carving with a drill from Pinterest.
One day, while looking for pumpkin decorating ideas, these brightly lit beaded pumpkins caught my eye. They look so different from any glowing pumpkin I'd ever seen, and they actually looked like I could tackle the design! My patience level for carving is very slim. Slim to none. Hence this pumpkin decorating idea on gilding a pumpkin from local artist Deborah Bigelow. I have never carved a pumpkin and have little desire to draw a design, only to struggle with carving it, which most likely results in carving outside of the lines. Unlike these prize-winning pumpkins in the City Of Beacon's Pumpkin Carving Event!

Where can I get more precision? A power drill! And I'm not even that great with a power drill. But hey, by using various drill bits, I got different sizes of perfectly formed circles. Pop a glowing candle inside for glowy Halloween effect, and your friends will surely be impressed.

What follows below is what you need to decorate your pumpkin with a beaded effect using a power drill. My kids and I also made a demo video on Periscope and then published to YouTube, which you can watch at the bottom of this post! The picture at the top is the finished result of our drill bitcarved pumpkin.

1 big pumpkin
1 big knife to carve top
1 big spoon to scoop out seeds and slimy stuff
1 paper bag to contain pumpkin guts
1 power drill
2 sizes drill bits: use bits that are at least two sizes larger or smaller than each other
1 candle
broom & dustbin

STEP 1: Cut out the top of the pumpkin and scoop out your pumpkin with a spoon.

STEP 2: Get your power drill ready! For the beaded look, you can do 4 or 5 large holes in a line, and then switch drill bits to the smaller size. When you use drill bits that are more than one size different from each other, you will get a more dramatic beading that is more noticeable from the street.
Note: You could draw tiny dots where you want your circles to go. But don't get too precise, because your drill may spin out the first few tries until you get in the flow.

STEP 3: Mess alert! As your drill bit spins, the pumpkin shell spins onto the floor. You can see what I mean in the video below.

STEP 4: Once you have drilled all of your holes, place your candle inside of your pumpkin and enjoy!
Back in season for Fall, the famous cheese fondue pumpkin! A great party food idea, or order by the slice. Delicious.

Watch our video that we broadcast live on Periscope! To catch more of A Little Beacon Blog's live broadcasts, follow us at Periscope:

Gilding The Pumpkin | A Pumpkin Decorating Idea For Non-Carvers

The Instagram account of Gilded Twig, aka Deborah Bigelow, who is by Instagram's definition an "Art Conservator, Master Gilder, Building Renovator, and Landlord" (she owns the building that contains Nixie Sparrow and Beahive), is quite curious. It's not often that you come across a professional gilder who knows how to cover walls in gold and renovate the precious details of this world with fresh gold (and we share love for the same hairdresser!). Her projects have included Salon Dore at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and an installation at Walter De Maria Enterprises. So when I began thinking of pumpkin decorating ideas for our front porch for this year's Halloween, it hit me - I bet Gilded Twig would know how to cover a pumpkin in gold! (In another attempt to decorate sans carving, I tried my hand at another Pinterest-inspired pumpkin project: I used a power drill to make delicate-looking bead designs in a pumpkin!)

Perfect for a spooky front yard recreation of a scene where anything you touch turns to gold, maybe Sleeping Beauty and Rumpelstiltskin would be there. Deborah was kind enough to cover a pumpkin in gold for us, and share her secrets for how to do it.

Deborah Bigelow
Gilded Twig
 Gilding a Pumpkin

You’ve heard the phrase “gilding the lily”?
Well, now there’s “gilding the pumpkin”!

Pumpkins are beautiful just the way nature made them.
But, if you want to gold-leaf one for a Fall display, here’s how:

(All materials available at your local art store and food market.)

a pumpkin (get A Little Beacon Blog's guide on Where to Pick Your Pumpkins This October)
painter's tape
wax paper
black foam brush
fast-drying oil
gold leaf (Deborah likes Sepp Leaf Products, Inc. in New York City, in any karat)
soft sable brush
23K Loose Gold Leaf

Wash the pumpkin with a drop of detergent in water.
Rinse with clear water and dry off.
Tape off the stem with painter’s tape. Place the pumpkin on a piece of wax paper.
Using a black foam brush, apply a whisper-thin, even layer of fast-drying oil size.

Check the surface periodically until it feels dry but slightly tacky to the touch.
Open up a book of gold leaf and pick up the sheet with a gilder’s tip.
I used Manetti’s Red Gold Leaf on the pumpkin.
Beginning at the bottom, lay the gold leaf down on the pumpkin’s surface.
Press down the gold leaf with a soft sable brush.
Repeat until the entire pumpkin is covered.
Remove all of the excess leaf with the same soft brush.

Your golden pumpkin is ready to shine!
Back in season for Fall, the famous cheese fondue pumpkin! A great party food idea, or order by the slice. Delicious.

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We would love to see your decorated pumpkins! Please tag A Little Beacon Blog on Instagram and Twitter with your work of art - no matter how it turns out!

Pumpkin Roundup! Key Food, Hannaford, and These Farms Have Pumpkins and Patches

Picture of the bin of medium-sized pumpkins outside of Key Food,
taken Wednesday afternoon...
Last minute pumpkin shopping? Rumor has it from here to Poughkeepsie is running low on pumpkins for carving the night before Halloween. Here are a few sources you can still pick up your pumpkins!

Key Food has a big box of medium-sized pumpkins out front, with only a few big pumpkins left. Open until 9pm.

Hannaford on Rt. 9 on the way to/from Poughkeepsie has a bin of "huge" pumpkins left, and have sold out of the white pumpkins, as quoted by their Produce Guy. Also check their local farm stand for other squash for decorations. Open 24hrs.

Overlook Farm in Newburgh reports that they have pumpkins at their farm stand. Open until 6pm.

Lawrence Farms in Newburgh does have pumpkins in their "Pick Your Own Pumpkin Patch", as well as at their farm stand. They close on Halloween at 4pm.

Fishkill Farms still has pumpkins in the "Pick Your Own Pumpkin Patch". Really fun. Pumpkin patch is open until 5:30pm, and the store closes at 6pm.

Beacon Natural Market on Main Street does not have any pumpkins. Stop in and stock up to decorate your front porch! If you aren't the carving type, you could always paint your pumpkin and sprinkle glitter and glue feathers on it...
Pumpkin picking success! At Lawrence Farms in Newburgh.