South Bay : A Great Pumpkin With a Message

He's big, he's orange and he wears a silly grin, but this year Unocal's giant pumpkin has a serious message.

As they do every year, workers at the Unocal Los Angeles Refinery in Wilmington have given a 3.3-million-gallon storage tank a fresh coat of orange paint and jack-o-lantern facial features.

Then the refinery invites the public for candy.

Smilin' Jack, as the refinery dubs its pumpkin impersonator, is the world's largest jack-o-lantern, according to Unocal. If it were filled with pumpkin meat, there would be enough to make 26,800,000 pumpkin pies.

In addition to candy, volunteers will pass out literature from violence prevention programs including Alternatives to Living in a Violent Environment and the Gang Alternatives Program.

More than 20,000 people visited last year, and Unocal spokesman Scott Carroll said he expects the number to rise this year. Visiting hours tonight are 6 to 9 p.m. at 1660 W. Anaheim St.

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