Zach Stoddard used five jack-o’-lanterns strategically placed on the side of a hill to express his love and devotion to his girlfriend of three years, Lauren Brenneman.
When the moment was right, the pumpkins were uncovered and lit to reveal the illuminated question: “Will You Marry Me?”
Brenneman said “yes,” to the approval of many in the record-breaking crowd assembled for the first night of the annual Stoddard Avenue Pumpkin Glow.
The final night of the glow starts Thursday at dusk on the Stoddard Avenue hill, near the rear of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in the Grafton Hill neighborhood.
It was the first time anyone had proposed at the event organized by self-proclaimed “Pumpkin Lady” Judy Chaffin, according to Randy Palmer, Chaffin’s son-in-law and a newspaper copy editor.
Stoddard worked with Chaffin to set up the proposal that left Brenneman beaming.
Palmer said the pumpkin glow attracted its largest crowd in 17 years. Hundreds filled the hill.
“We’ve been here before and it has never been this crowded,” Stoddard said. “I’ve been shaking the whole way walking up that hill.”
He said the pumpkin glow on Stoddard Avenue was the idea spot for the proposal.
Brenneman loves Halloween and October, her birth month. His last name is Stoddard.
“I am going to be a Stoddard,” Brenneman said.
Watch the video for more of their story.
Contact this columnist at arobinson@DaytonDailyNews.com or Twitter.com/DDNSmartMouth