DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – People in Dayton are preparing for the Annual Stoddard Avenue Pumpkin Glow after it was canceled last year due to the pandemic. This year’s event will feature more than 800 glowing pumpkins, just ahead of Halloween.

Volunteers cutting 2 of the more than 800 pumpkins in this year’s Stoddard Avenue Pumpkin glow.

Ahead of the event on Oct. 25 and 26, hundreds of volunteers gather to cut, gut and carve pumpkins to be placed on the hill behind the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Dayton, where they’ll be lit and “glow” for everyone to see.

This is Celeste Ritzert’s first year volunteering for the Pumpkin Glow. “I’ve always wanted to come down and help, so I’m glad to be here,” said Ritzert. Another volunteer, Heidi Thomason, has been helping out for the last six years. “It’s fun! You get to be a little kid…you have to be a little kid once in a while right,” said Thomason.

The event was started by community member Judith Chaffin in 1993 with just 36 pumpkins. Now, the much larger event buys from two local pumpkin farms and displays their pumpkins for thousands of people to see.

Eric Dye has been a volunteer since he and his family moved into the community eight years ago, and he says all the hard work is worth it to see the finished product. “It’s like the cherry on top of the sundae. Like all the work you put into it…that nobody sees behind the scenes, then hundreds of thousands of people come out smile and enjoy themselves,” said Dye.

Dye says since the event was canceled last year, he’s excited to see the Pumpkin Glow return. “It’s a good community event for bringing everybody together, seeing old friends, and making kids smile.”

Click here to find out how you can volunteer your time for the event, and for more details about the Pumpkin Glow. The event is free and masks are not required since it is held outdoors.