New Yorkers head to Hudson River Park’s Pier 84 to smash their Halloween pumpkins

It was a smash! Killing it with pumpkins!

The Pier 84 Pumpkin Smash could have been a beach party this past Saturday with the unseasonable temperatures hitting the mid-70s. It was a beautiful day to enjoy New York City. 

Children and adults took part in the annual Hudson River Park event, which gives participants the opportunity to show their might using hammers, bats, shovels and even a sledgehammer on pumpkins and pumpkin-like squashes.  In addition to the highly supervised pumpkin mutilations (participants were encouraged to pound them into compostable-size pieces), other activities took place. 

A heavy hitter.(Photo by Tequila Minsky)

Face painting artists adorned faces. Hot cocoa (should have been ice cream on a day like this)  and mini-muffins were consumed. Steaming the cider, the server said with a wink, you want that iced? (There was no ice.) 

The annual event, organized by Hudson River Park, invites the community to “make compost smash, not trash, with leftover Halloween pumpkins.” The broken-down pieces are repurposed as compost by Park staff.

“Environmental education doesn’t have to come from a book, and it can even help you burn calories,” touts Noreen Doyle, Hudson River Park Trust President.  The Park holds interactive events throughout the year that inspire connections to the environment.

(Photo by Tequila Minsky)

The Park’s Community Compost Program began in 2015 (its facility in the Park at 33rd St.) utilizes clippings and trimmings from the Park–4 miles, Chambers to W. 59th— and includes ten drop-off sites in the Park where local residents deposit food scraps, all year long.  Many pumpkins used in the smash were collected from pumpkins left at the drop-off sites.  

Composted soil benefits the health of the Park by enriching lawns and flowerbeds and provides protection against pests and disease. Additionally, composted food waste reduces the need for energy-wasting shipping of waste outside of New York City.

2,500 pounds of pumpkins were smashed this year compared to 1,115 pounds last year.

(Photo by Tequila Minsky)
Whack that pumpkin.(Photo by Tequila Minsky)
(Photo by Tequila Minsky)
(Photo by Tequila Minsky)
(Photo by Tequila Minsky)
Remants of Halloween pumpkins destined for compost.(Photo by Tequila Minsky)
Ready for further pulverizing(Photo by Tequila Minsky)
By end of the smash, truck will be filled with pumpkin mash.(Photo by Tequila Minsky)