Our Americus area readers are likely familiar with an annual Halloween tradition for which this year’s preparations are already being made: the trick-or-treat festivities on South Lee Street in the historic district. For decades, homeowners have entered into a spirit of friendly competition and hospitality as they have decorated their homes and yards in seasonal extravagance. On Halloween night, several blocks of South Lee are filled with hundreds of young trick-or-treaters and their families.
Sine 1983, Bill and Charlene McGowan have participated in the annual festivities. The former Americus mayor notes, “We enjoy greeting passers-by with pumpkins, scary music, and candy.” A recent visit to Rudy’s Happy Patch Market led to a new addition to the McGowan Halloween landscape.
“On a recent visit to Perry Wellness Center,” Mr. McGowan explains, “I noticed this 300-pound pumpkin at Happy Patch Market. I talked to Charlene – and now it appears on our front sidewalk!”
Such huge pumpkins don’t just magically appear, and this particular pumpkin has an interesting backstory. During an initial visit to the Atlanta Farmers’ Market, staffers were able to buy pumpkins that were much larger in size and weight than typically seen. On a later return to Atlanta to buy additional large pumpkins for market customers, the staff members, including culinary chief Kelly Jansen, planned to purchase at least three more pumpkins. However, they were unavailable. With a bit of talk and his charming smile, Kelly was finally able to secure one large pumpkin that was promised to the McGowans.
“I don’t know all the actions at the market,” Bil McGowan states. “I only know that our pumpkin will be special on Lee Street!”
So if you’re driving down South Lee Street this holiday season, look for a grinning pumpkin at the McGowan’s lovely historic home. And if you have a little one in tow, stop by on Halloween for a closer look!
In the photo above, helper Jantwan Twiggs, Charlene McGowan, Kelly Jansen, and Bill McGowan pose with their home’s partially completed yard decorations, as they ready for Halloween night.