WESTFIELD, NJ – As rock music pounded and children looked on, Marc Evan carefully etched a portrait of the Addams Family character, Lurch, into a pumpkin at the Westfield Armory.
Evan, an artist with the Brooklyn, NY, based Maniac Pumpkin Carvers, employed his skill at Westfield’s AddamsFest on Saturday, the second day of a three-day celebration of the work of Westfield native Charles Addams, creator of the Addams Family.
With a light inside of the pumpkin, his work glowed. What’s the trick to getting a pumpkin portrait right?
“Patience,” Evan said, as he carved.
Pumpkin carving was one of many activities at the celebration, which included Addams Family themed dances performed by the Westfield Ballroom, balloon animal making, rock performances from local musicians and children’s games.
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About 300 volunteers had worked for nearly seven months to put together the festival, which in addition to the activities at the Westfield Armory, included sold-out lectures on the history of Charles Addams and his work, and a dog costume contest, organizers said.
“The people keep coming. Everyone has a smile on their face,” said Dawn Mackey, a councilwoman and the festival's chairwoman. “A little nor’easter could not stop Westfield from celebrating Charles Addams.”
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Residents dressed up as the Addams Family characters and posed for photos at the event, which had moved indoors due to the wet weather.
The day also included showings of “The Addams Family” movie at the Rialto Theater in Downtown Westfield, paranormal investigations at the town's historic Reeve House, a sold-out beer garden at the Armory and two showings of “Rocky Horror Picture Show” at the Rialto.
More events, including a Halloween parade, costume contest and a trunk-or-treat were planned for Sunday. Click here for the schedule.
The weekend kicked off Friday night with a masquerade ball at The James Ward Mansion downtown.
“Months and months of preparation and we’re finally here,” said AddamsFest Executive Director Adrian Pastore during the party, where guests in formal wear and masks imbibed smoking cocktails and dined on tasty treats including “toes in socks” (pigs in blankets).
“It’s going to be a weekend Westfield will never forget,” Pastore said.
Around town and at the Armory, Amelia Katz, 12, of Westfield, dressed in black with her hair done in pigtails, played the role of Wednesday, the all-too-serious Addams Family daughter.
“The small ones are scared,” Katz said, with a straight face. “And then there are a lot of people who are like ‘Oh, that’s the Addams Family’ and then they come and take a picture.’ I made a baby cry.”
Email Staff Writer Matt Kadosh at firstname.lastname@example.org; Follow him on Twitter: @MattKadosh