EVERETT — Oct. 31 seems to come earlier each year.
Grocery stores are packed with pumpkins. People are planning costumes. By the end of September most people have their Harvest time-Halloween-Dia de los Muertos decorations in hand, if not already adorning their homes.
Good thing the Schack Art Center’s annual glass pumpkin festival starts Thursday.
At the Schack, you can pick out and purchase a pumpkin from a huge patch of handcrafted, blown glass gourds during Schack-toberfest, which continues daily through Sept. 24.
This admission-free, fall festival is all about pumpkins.
The Schack’s main gallery has morphed into an urban pumpkin patch filled with 700 glistening glass pumpkins in all sizes, shapes and colors.
In addition, the Schack offers harvest-themed artwork and gifts from local artists.
Special activities include free art projects for kids between 1 and 4 p.m. on Sept. 17 and 24, as well as raffles and a silent auction filled with even more local artwork, including several pieces by artist Pat Tolle.
Visitors also have the opportunity to make their own glass pumpkin in the Schack’s hot shop during Make-It-Now sessions this weekend and next. Reservations are recommended. Check schack.org/make-it-now for schedule and availability.
Even if you don’t step into the hot shop, be sure to see some amazing glass blowing when Italian glass maestro Lino Tagliapietra and his team visit the Schack during Schack-toberfest.
Tagliapietra is scheduled to work in the Schack hot shop from about 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 18. And from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 19-21, see the equally famous glassblowers Dante Marioni and John Kiley — both who spent early parts of their careers at Pilchuck Glass School in north Snohomish County.
The visits from these internationally known artists are sure to be a highlight of the festival.
Schack fans age 21 and older will enjoy the annual Pints &Pumpkins event from 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 21. Grab a pint from Scuttlebutt, Diamond Knot or Lazy Boy Brewing in a souvenir Schack glass while enjoying delicious bites by Lombardi’s Italian Restaurant.
The evening in the pumpkin patch features a performance by Andrew Vait of the band Sisters, arranged by Everett Music Initiative.
The evening of Pints &Pumpkins also marks the final night to place bids in the Schack-toberfest silent auction of original artwork created by more than 40 local artists just for this harvest festival.
Free admission from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Schack Art Center, 2921 Hoyt Ave. Everett.
Closed to the public at 4 p.m. Sept. 21 for Pints &Pumpkins, which costs $25 or $20 for Schack members, online or at the door.
Most of the popular glass pumpkins available for purchase are priced at $34 to $75. Make your own blown glass pumpkin for $55. Reservations and more information is at www.schack.org/events/schack-toberfest.