Have you been out with your kids on Halloween in the last few years and seen a blue pumpkin bucket on someone’s porch or have you seen people posting cute instagram or pinterest pictures of pumpkins painted blue? It turns out that this is more than just an aesthetic trend. It’s a sign and a symbol to trick-or-treaters with special needs and food allergies that your house is a safe spot for them to stop by and trick-or-treat. The blue pumpkin trend continues to grow and Lexington wanted to make sure our community knew what it was about and which houses to look for on October 31st!

The History of the Blue Pumpkin Bucket

While it’s not quite as prolific as the Great Pumpkin, the blue or teal pumpkin does have a history and a story. The initiative was founded by FARE or Food Allergy Research and Education, an organization that serves as an advocate for people with food allergies as well as researching advancements to help people with food allergies to live a reaction free existence. The initiative, called the Teal Pumpkin Project, advocates for people to put out a teal painted pumpkin or other signage to let passersby on Halloween know that you have non-food options for kids that often miss out on Halloween festivities due to their allergies. Instead, you can put out things like glow sticks, spider rings, vampire fangs, and other themed toys that can be easily purchased at a party store or even the dollar store.

Blue Pumpkin and Autism

Halloween can be a strange, confusing and stressful time for kids and adults with autism but many people look forward to it all year long. Parents and family of people with autism, down syndrome and other developmental disabilities came together, inspired by the Teal Pumpkin Project, and created the Blue Pumpkin Bucket. Basically if you are handing out candy and see someone with a blue pumpkin bucket, they may have autism or they are an advocate of someone else with autism. The blue pumpkin bucket is also supposed to signify to people that a person who might appear to be over the acceptable age of trick-or-treaters might have a disability. It’s a way for parents to ask strangers to show extra attention to their loved ones and to keep their spirit alive with the festivities of the season.

What Can You Do

In terms of fun holiday trends that benefit people with special needs, this one is pretty easy. It’s easy to paint a pumpkin teal in preparation for the spooky night and it can be a lot of fun for the family or even for a date night inside. There are even templates for the pumpkin faces here. If you do put out a teal pumpkin and offer non-food treats, please think about registering as a teal pumpkin location on their 2019 map so trick-or-treaters can find your house. Let your neighbors know why the pumpkin is out and send them in the right direction if they want to participate. Traditionalists might wonder: can I still hand out candy? Of course! Just make sure that you keep the non-food prizes separate, in their own bowl. On that note, the best way you can determine which treat should be given out is simply to ask the kids or even their guardians. With a little pre-planning and a pretty sweet blue pumpkin, you can make someone’s Halloween night just a little bit more special.

Blue Pumpkins At Lexington

This season, we want to see all of our Lexington members get the opportunity to enjoy this fall holiday to the fullest extent they can. Even if they are not fans of going out and trick-or-treating or all the festive Halloween decorations, there is still a lot of fun to be had during this time of year. Check out our list from last year for some great ideas.

Watch for blue pumpkins from Lexington as well. We want to be part of this fun new tradition that the special needs community is getting behind. If you have any amazing Halloween traditions, make sure to send us a tweet with your favorite spooky season activities.