PORT ANGELES — The art of the carved-and-lighted-within pumpkin is about to take center stage at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center.
This Saturday brings the Celebration of Shadows Fall Festival, replete with activities, warm drinks and a gallery show, all at the center at 1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd.
Lighting the paths around the center: pumpkins, carved by the public.
Pumpkin artists — of any age — can do their carving at home or sign up for a Saturday afternoon carving workshop.
Either way, they can enter the festival’s pumpkin carving contest and display by dropping off their handiwork at the center. Dropoff hours are 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today and Saturday, with a $5 entry fee per pumpkin.
The entries will be judged on design, creativity and skill of execution, with winners receiving prizes donated by local businesses, including tickets to Port Angeles’ Winter Village ice skating rink, passes to Hurricane Ridge and gifts from Brown’s Outdoor, Port Book and News and Anime Kat.
The rest of Saturday’s public events, to take place at the center’s Webster’s Woods Sculpture Park and Esther Webster Gallery, include:
• A life-size shadow puppet theater workshop goes from noon to 2 p.m. with facilitator Terry Valdez. Participants will learn how simple, handmade props and costume pieces — and their own bodies — can bring characters to life through shadow puppetry.
Later Saturday, puppet makers will have a chance to present their characters and shadow stories to a live audience.
The workshop fee is $30 for Port Angeles Fine Arts Center members and $35 for non-members, while advance registration is recommended at PAFAC.org.
• A pumpkin carving workshop with local artist Nathan Shields is set from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. with pumpkins donated by Agnew Grocery; tools are also provided so participants can take their carving skills to the next level.
The fee is $5 per person, and PAFAC.org is the place to sign up.
• “Chasing Shadows,” the current show in the fine arts center’s Esther Webster Gallery, will stay open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday with free admission.
Valdez, the exhibition’s juror, will give a talk about it at 5 p.m. Masks are required inside the gallery.
• Starting at 6 p.m., all are welcome to stroll through the pumpkin walk, where pumpkins from the public line the paths around the center.
Blackbird Coffeehouse and Finnriver Cidery will pour drinks and serve treats.
• The outdoor shadow puppet theater performance will start at 7 p.m.
The evening events are free, while donations are welcome.
More information about the Celebration of Shadows Festival and the “Chasing Shadows” exhibition, which will stay on display through Nov. 14, are found at PAFAC.org, the center’s Facebook page and by phoning 360-457-3532.
“Fall can be such a magical time with the crisp days, brilliant colors and shifting light,” said center executive director Christine Loewe.
“We are excited to bring a brand-new, festive event to keep the spark of creativity alive as our days grow shorter.
“We can’t wait to fill the paths with light, pumpkins and dancing shadows.”
Jefferson County senior reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or [email protected]