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'Crazy pumpkin lady' gets Lynbrook in the Halloween spirit with elaborate jack-o'-lantern display

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On Stevenson Street in Lynbrook, one home is embracing the Halloween spirit as 89 foam jack-o’-lanterns with various designs line the lawn and light up the night, making a neighborhood spectacle.

“I dubbed myself the crazy pumpkin lady,” Tessa Farr, the pumpkin patch’s creator, said with a laugh. “I come up with the designs myself and some are things I’ve seen people do that I put my own spin on.”

Farr said Halloween is her favorite holiday and she decided to get in the spirit by creating the jack-o’-lanterns to embrace the spooky celebration. The hijinks began last year when she designed 42 pumpkins and her collection is growing.

For each pumpkin, Farr drew the design in pencil then used an X-acto knife to carve them into jack-o’-lanterns. Her husband, Josh, and children, Drexel, 7, Cici, 5, and Cosette, 1, also got in on the fun and created their own designs. Farr said she makes her creations out of foam because animals frequently eat real pumpkins and it can take anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours to finish a design, depending on how intricate it is, so she doesn’t want her hard work to go to waste. When the season is over, she stores them in a loft in her garage and in the family’s basement.

“Every day is Halloween in our house,” Farr said. “The kids are always dressing up. Halloween’s my favorite holiday and it always has been, and I passed it on to my kids.”

Because 2020 has mostly been defined by the coronavirus pandemic, Farr said she seeked to represent that with her first design, which was a jack-o’-lantern with a facemask on it. From there, the designs ranged from zainy to scary and all in between.

Farr said her favorite creations were a jack-o’-lantern featuring a skeleton inside a cameo frame and one where she carved a small skull onto a tiny white pumpkin and placed it inside a large orange pumpkin, which she carved to make it look like a skull inside of a jack-o’-lantern. Her husband also carved one of a world map, while her children designed drawings of spiders, unicorns, mermaids and train tracks, which she then carved for them.

The family’s front lawn has caught the eye of many neighbors and community members, who Farr said have frequently stopped by her house to take pictures and look at the collection all October long.

“It’s a real coming together community thing,” she said. “The number of people who have stopped by our house to comment on the pumpkins or the number of people who I haven’t talked to in years who message me about it, it’s a really cool thing.”