As is tradition, Yellowknife's grocery stores all but ran out of pumpkins as days ticked down in the lead-up to Halloween.
The city's would-be carvers were hard-pressed to pick up the elusive orange fruit unless they dashed to the Co-Op, where less than 50 remained for sale. As of Wednesday morning, Luluz Market said they also had "some, not many" organic heirloom pumpkins left.
The city always runs out of pumpkins, Walmart manager Terry Andre told Cabin Radio.
"Actually," she said, "we make pages in the store telling customers, 'Remember, Yellowknife ran out last year. Don't miss out, get your pumpkins while they're here.'"
Yellowknife Co-op supervisor Jane Huang agreed the shortage is annual and, this year, a school bought out an entire bin of pumpkins.
As of 6:30pm on Tuesday, the store was left with pumpkins for sale, although supplies were limited. Both Independent grocers and Walmart were already out.
Yellowknifers warned of a pumpkin shortage last year, one day away from Halloween. The traditional shortage may be compounded by a "poor growing season," an Independent employee said.
Alternatives do exist.
Trevor's Independent, apologizing to customers for the shortage, posted on an in-store sign: "Due to the poor growing season we are out of pumpkins. May we suggest carving a squash?"
A helpful person suggested, via Facebook, to carve a creepier alternative: the turnip jack-o-lantern.
Squash was being offered as an alternative at Trevor's Independent Grocer. Emelie Peacock/Cabin Radio
And don't all dash to Canadian Tire, as store employees said they do not sell the real ones.