“What is this called?” McKinley Elementary School fifth-grader Hugo Pérez de la Torre asked, pointing to the mid-sized pumpkin in his hand.
“It’s his first pumpkin,” explained classmate Eric Arias, translating from Hugo’s Spanish. Hugo moved to the United States less than six months ago from Cuba; the closest thing to Halloween that he knows is the Mexican Day of the Dead, traditionally celebrated in November.
Hugo and Eric’s classmates — along with the rest of the students at McKinley — were treated to pumpkins of their choice as part of the PTA’s seventh annual pumpkin patch in the school’s playground Friday. Each year, the PTA dads purchase and deliver more than 500 pumpkins, which are then displayed in the temporary patch for the students to peruse, organizer Stephanie McCorkle said.