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Pachin Mills Bridge decorated for 18th consecutive Halloween

As tradition dictated, the Pachin Mills bridge in Pine Plains was decorated on Halloween night with dozens of glowinghand-carved pumpkins.The pumpkins on the bridge are lit with candles for two nights following Halloween.The tradition started 18 years ago, when John Bradley decided to decorate the bridge with 40 pumpkins for his mother’s birthday, Oct. 24. It was such a hit that Bradley has decorated the bridge ever since.Bradley said that the tradition would not have been able to continue without the support of the community, which helps carve the pumpkins and place them on the bridge.“We had a lot of help. We couldn’t have done it without the help,” he said as volunteers marched behind him with armfuls of carved pumpkins.Preparation for the Halloween decorating begins more than a week in advance, when Bradley buys the first batch of pumpkins, cleans them, removes the innards and invites locals to help with carving.Although this year’s display contained enough pumpkins to line both sides of the bridge, Bradley said that there weren’t as many pumpkins as usual because the two unseasonable snowfalls in the days leading up to Halloween prevented him from getting the last truckful of pumpkins.Several members of the Sisco family helped with this year’s display. They have been helping every year since the tradition began. One of the children, Alec Sisco, was born on the last night of the candle-lighting on the first year of the bridge decorating.This was Alec’s first year not participating since he is away at college, so his sibling made sure to fill his shoes. They also carved pumpkins in his honor that said, “We miss you Alec.”As the team of volunteers placed the pumpkins along the bridge, people passing in cars waved and called out compliments and praise on a job well-done.Bradley said that he was surprised that the tradition as grown so big and lasted for so long, but he said that he hopes it continues for years to come.

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