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An Out of This World, Artistic, Scary, and Thoroughly Goofy Pumpkin Patch
Ruth Leopold

Each Halloween, Carolina Meadows holds a pumpkin decorating contest. Every Precinct (that’s what we call neighborhoods here) and Staff Departments submits an entry vying to be the best pumpkin in various categories. Every year the show is colorful and fun, but this year’s contest was particularly inventive. Here are a few examples.

The decorators from Precinct Five channeled their inner Steven Spielberg and created a Mothership Spacecraft right out of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” A hollowed-out pumpkin with tiny Aliens inside and surrounding the “ship” glowed. The effect was enhanced by tiny chaser lights running around the circumference of the pumpkin.

The Marketing Department went “Under the Sea” and created a friendly, pumpkin Blow Fish. They achieved this remarkable transformation by gluing hundreds of pieces of candy corn to the surface of the pumpkin. Every piece of the candy was perfectly placed. How Marketing had the patience to do this, I’ll never understand, nor how they had the restraint not to eat half of the addictive goodies. The Mothership and the Blow Fish shared “Best Overall” honors.

Precinct Twelve took a “Most Original” honor for its tribute to the memory of “Eno the Emu.” The real-life Eno was all over the news this past year when he escaped his owners and eluded police and game wardens for weeks and weeks. Alas, Eno did not survive his quest to live free; he died trying to avoid capture. Precinct Twelve honored his gallant soul with a tombstone and his effigy.

The Dining Department created an elegant Tea Service for its entry.  A teapot pumpkin had detailed carved scrolling on its surface and was matched by four pumpkin teacups. They won “Best Use of Raw Materials.”

Plant Operations earned its “Scariest” designation with its depiction of a terrified Maintenance pumpkin menaced by a very large rat. Other entrees included “ET” himself in his trick or treating costume, a lady pumpkin who’d undergone plastic surgery and lots of other fun pumpkin creations.

It’s going to be very hard to top this year’s pumpkin show in 2020.  Fortunately, we have twelve months to think up ideas before Halloween rolls around again.

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