Halloween wasn’t officially over in Natick this year until Fire Department volunteers set up their hook and ladder truck in the playground area of Memorial School, a catapult in the athletic fields and, one by one, either dropped or launched hundreds of hapless pumpkins into oblivion.
The Great Pumpkin Smash has occasionally taken place on Natick Common—the earliest mention we’ve seen of such an event in town was a 2009 smash that showcased ten carefully chosen pumpkins meeting their demise after being tossed to the ground from the top of a hook and ladder. Let’s just say the event has evolved. Last weekend hundreds of heavy gourds took flight and crashed to the ground with satisfying thuds, spilling their guts to the excited cheers of over one hundred spectators.
The Pumpkin Smash wasn’t just about the mayhem. There’s an environmental component that makes it OK to make such a big mess on school grounds. Black Earth Composting collected all the smashed pumpkins to turn them into black gold to be returned to the soil, reducing waste and greenhouse gas emissions in the process.
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The event was put on in partnership with Natick Recreation and Parks, Natick Fire Department, the Natick Community Organic Farm, and EcoNatick. DPW provided the clean-up. Lookout Farm and Tilly and Salvy’s Bacon Street Farm donated lots of pumpkins to add to those brought by kids from all over town.
“All in all, it was a smashing success,” Deputy Director of Rec and Parks Travis Farley said. “Maybe we’ll do it again next year.”