Found in Fairview October 2022

When I was young, every October, my grandmother would have me and my siblings over one afternoon before Halloween to carve our pumpkins.  We would set out newspapers on the table, scoop out guts, and carve the faces.  It would take all afternoon and it was wonderful.  The jack-o-lanterns would stay on display until November.

As I got a little older and a little cooler, the pumpkin carving got old and not cool.  I stopped going.

When I was in my early 20’s, I lived with my brother.  We were sitting around having a beer one day and started reminiscing about the great memories we had carving pumpkins.  Right then, we decided we would restart it! Unfortunately, our grandparents were way too old to want to do it and we lived in a different city than our younger siblings.  We decided our best option was to make it a fun competition between us and our friends.

We invited a few people over and bought some beers, snacks, and prizes – First Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest was a go.  I can’t tell you how many people came, or who won but I can tell you that it was a blast! There was an epic pumpkin guts throwing war and years later we were still finding the odd sting of guts in the weirdest of places.

About 5 years into our Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest my brother moved to Vancouver.  It was now left up to me to carry on the contest.  Some years it was very popular with loads of people showing up, other years I was lucky if one other person showed up.  The year I got married to Kirk, my honeymoon had me in Germany for pumpkin carving so I begged a friend to do it for me.  That year was a low turnout, but they kept the tradition alive.

I remember one year we were so late at planning the carving by the time we got to the Co-op to grab our pumpkins, there were none left. So we had to use spaghetti squash.  There was a run of about 5 or 6 years that Kirk’s BFF would always come up with the most amazing and intricate designs and win!  He was nearly banned after he carved a perfect likeness of Kirk’s face into his pumpkin.  Luckily, he has moved out of province and other people will finally have a chance to win!

Kirk and I have continued with the tradition and 23 years later our pumpkin carving contest is still going strong. There have been a few changes made to allow for the addition of kidlets.  It is now an afternoon event and the judging gets separated into kids and adults. Last year, we had some friends over that had never even carved a pumpkin.  They loved it!  This year at least one contestant is growing their own pumpkins to carve!

I look forward to Halloween and the annual pumpkin carving contest every year!

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