THE COUNTRY PUMPKIN CRAZE
Hayrides And Pumpkin Carving Contests
It seems like some of the things that can be done in the country are traipsing through pumpkin patches, hopping on the back of a wagon for a hayride, and participating in different types of contests. The arrival of the fall season signals the end of summer and ushers in a myriad of opportunities for locals to participate in.
One of those events is the iconic Pumpkin Carving Contests that abound throughout rural America this time of the year. That is, everywhere but the area that I live in. I searched for a local contest but found none. Maybe it is something I should make happen.
The picture above shows my wife holding a large pumpkin that I carved for a contest sponsored by her city hall cohorts where she last held a job. It took place in Mandeville, Louisiana, just across Lake Ponchartrain north of New Orleans. That particular entry was declared the winner, but I must confess I copied the design from the picture of another pumpkin I saw online that was imbued with similar characteristics. I did another pumpkin the following year, but it didn’t have design features that compared with that first one and didn’t turn out as good. Having said that, I sort of miss participating in that event now, but I see the craze is still popular elsewhere.
Thoughts On A Country Style Contest
I am writing this article on the actual day of Halloween. I was inspired by an article that covered some crazy carvings that were truly outlandish. One had the look of an anglerfish with huge formidable looking teeth. Another one imitated ET in a blanket.
I looked on the internet for pumpkin carvings that were creative but still looked like pumpkins. To my surprise they were hard to find. I looked for hours but only picked out a few that I thought would satisfy the requirements. I am showing them below.
If I did conspire to initiate such a contest, the rules for the event would be as follows:
- The pumpkin can be any shape
- Cannot be bigger than one that can be carried by a man
- The carving must use only intrinsic parts of the pumpkin shell
- It must be recognizable as something carved from a pumpkin when done
- Inside lighting can be a candle or battery-powered light
- No external paraphernalia can be added
- All artwork must be carved in and not painted on
- Can only use a knife or related manual carving tool
- There should be an adult division and a supervised children division
I suppose these rules would be out of sync with current trends, but they would give everyone a chance to win. Expensive add-ons would be prohibited.
Old Fashioned I Suppose
Some of the artwork that you see on various websites and internet searches is awesome. I don’t know how some pumpkin carvers can go through all the work they do on a perishable item. You can see that the masterpieces are labor-intensive endeavors, only to have them trashed on November 1st, or soon thereafter unless preserved somehow.
If young budding artists are to compete, they need to have a fighting chance. If it is going to be a county sponsored event, parents are going to be involved. It could be a nice time to bond with your kids. Working with knives or carving tools is dangerous, so supervision with dual participation would be necessary.
If this is fuddy duddy thinking, I guess I am guilty. As a city slicker I did not care much for the country events that shape rural living. Now that I am countrified, I see things in a whole new light. Events here are usually done with friendly folks more or less, and they can be interesting personalities, to say the least.. Maybe I will get more involved with them as time goes on, and a pumpkin carving contest would be a nice start.
PS: If you have some interesting photos of carved pumpkins I would be happy to see them and maybe include them in a future update. Your inclusion of a story behind them would be that much more interesting.
I am requesting that my readers click on the links provided and download a sample read of each book and give a review on Amazon. You will have free access to the first four chapters of each book. My hope is that you will like the story lines enough to obtain either an eBook version or a paperback copy that you can put on your bookshelf as a masterpiece when you are done. FATE STALKS A HERO I: RESURGENCE, FATE STALKS A HERO II:THE FIJI FULCRUM, and THE SAGA OF HERACLES PENOIT. I will be giving excerpts on these works in upcoming blogs to familiarize you the reader with exciting details about the contents of each one. Thank you!