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November 17, 2011

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Halloween pumpkins a treat for the elderly

SPOOKY Halloween pumpkins are proving just the trick for providing city seniors with a free lunchtime treat.

Many elderly residents have been making repeat trips to Happy Valley in suburban Songjiang District to help themselves to some of the 100,000 pumpkins used as decorations on October 31.

Parks offer free admission to women aged over 65 and men over 70.

Some seniors have been seen leaving the park laden down with several pumpkins, while others smash them open to get the seeds.

One park worker said she was impressed by an elderly man who carried seven large pumpkins on his back.

Worried that he might hurt himself shouldering such a heavy load, she advised him to be careful. But the sprightly senior returned several times to collect more.

Staff at the park gates said so many people were rushing in and out of the park they didn't have enough time to check all their certificates.

The amusement park bought 2,800 tons of pumpkins for the festival.

Park officials had faced a headache over how to dispose of the pumpkins and were glad of the help.

"Most were taken by the elderly and children, who like them very much," said an official surnamed Xu.


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