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  • Jessica Carrillo

The 2023 Teal Pumpkin Painting Party Recap: A Look at my Allergy Friendly Halloween Event

We may be on the cusp of December, but the Teal Pumpkin Painting Party photos are in and I am so excited to share them with you!

So let's take a step back in time shall we?


My third annual Teal Pumpkin Painting Party took place on October 29th, 2023 from 1pm to 3pm at the Morgan Hill Steve Tate Library.

This event was free and open to all ages in an attempt to reach as many people as I could. All supplies were provided for attendees.

The Event has three main parts:

  1. Teal Pumpkin Painting

  2. Teal Pumpkin Scavenger Hunt

  3. Free Raffle

Leading up to the event, I never really know what to expect in terms of turnout. I hope for the absolute best, but always find myself a bit nervous that nobody will come.

This year, however, we had such an amazing turnout! 176 people lined out the door of the Library's Children's room.

The Day at a Glance

11:45am: I arrive at the Morgan Hill Library to for finishing touches on the set up and decor

12-12:30pm: My amazing volunteers and photographer arrive

12:45pm: People start lining up outside the children's room door waiting to come inside!

1:00pm: Doors open. I am stunned to see how many people come in. The pumpkin painting begins!

1:30pm ish - All the painting tables are full. People are redirected to our scavenger hunt and asked to come back at 2pm to paint

2:00pm: The tables start to clear some, and new people are welcomed in. Those who started painting first go and do the scavenger hunt.

2:45pm: Raffle time!! I make the announcement that the raffle will begin

2:50pm: Raffle drawing is done. A whole group of kids surrounds me and waits excitedly.

2:55pm: Our grand prize winner for a Detective Harley Stuffed animal is announced.

3:00pm: The event comes to a close.

3:00-3:30pm: clean up time and go home

What it means to me

Growing up, I never had anything like Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE)'s Teal Pumpkin Project. I went about trick-or-treating knowing that most of the candy I got wouldn't be safe for me. I was okay with this because it was all I ever knew.

But when I heard about the Teal Pumpkin Project, I realized how impactful it would have been had I had something like that as a kid. Imagine a world where food allergy kids can go trick-or-treating and feel included and safe. If even half of the houses on halloween could have a teal pumpkin, things would be drastically improved.

My Teal Pumpkin Painting Party is my attempt at spreading the word about the Teal Pumpkin Project. My goal is to make everyday life just a bit more allergy friendly for the next generation of food allergy kids.

Seeing all sorts of people show up to the event was the most overwhelmingly amazing thing. There can be a lot of hate out there towards people with food allergies. We can be minimized and made fun of. But seeing so many people show up and willing to learn about the initiative really gave me a little faith in humanity.

The goal is to continue to make this an annual event in the Bay Area. I hope one day it can be a recognized part of Halloween by the larger community in the area.

But for now, I am so pleased with this year's event. And I can't wait for next year!!

A special thank you to

  • The Morgan Hill Library for providing me with the space for my event and helping me spread the word

  • Red Sneakers for Oakley for providing our wrist bracelets and informational cards

  • Natalie and Detective Harley for providing us with a Harley stuffed animal to feature in our raffle

  • My fabulous volunteers: Penny, Malaya, Lisa, my mom, my dad, my brother, and Kyle.

  • Special, special thank you for my mom and Kyle for spending the day before the event helping me do the majority of the set up.

  • Jon and Noelia for the photography (and congrats on the new baby!!)

  • Carol and Al of Garlic City Embroidery for helping create our amazing shirts

  • FARE for creating the Teal Pumpkin Project :)

  • Anyone and everyone who attended my event and supported my cause. THANK YOU


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