Stock up on pumpkins this weekend for upcoming contests

by | Sep 30, 2011

One of the decorated-pumpkin entries on display at the 2009 N.C. State Fair.

Pumpkins are great for decorating your houses, but you also can put your own creative spin on them in two upcoming decorating contests. Deadlines are approaching for the kid-friendly events, so make sure to pick out a perfect pumpkin soon at a farmers market or pick-your-own farm near you.

Most people know about the largest pumpkin contest at the N.C. State Fair, but some are surprised to learn there are also decorated pumpkin contests for children 8 years and younger and ages 9 to 12. Pre-registration is required, and entry forms are due today by 5 p.m. You can find more details and entry forms at this link.

Exhibits can be taken to the Horticulture Exhibit in the Expo Center starting Saturday, Oct. 8, and continuing daily through Oct. 12 at 2 p.m. Winning entries will be on display during the State Fair, Oct. 13-23.

The State Farmers Market will offer another opportunity for you to put your creativity to the test with its 26th Annual Decorated Pumpkin Contest. This year’s event will be held Thursday, Oct. 6.

The contest offers three age divisions: 8 years and younger, 9 to 15, and 16 and older. Contestants can drop off their decorated pumpkins in the Farmers Building Wednesday, Oct. 5, from 3 to 5 p.m., or Thursday, Oct. 6, from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Judging will begin at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

Each entry will be judged on creativity, as well as the color, shape and quality of the pumpkin used. Pumpkins can be carved or painted, and can include other forms of art media, but cannot be artificial.

Prizes will be awarded for the top four entries in each age division. First-place winners will be awarded $40. Second-, third- and fourth-place finishers will receive $25, $10 and $5, respectively.

The event is sponsored by the State Farmers Market, the State Farmers Market Restaurant and the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Visit the State Farmers Market’s website for additional information about this and other events happening at the market this fall.