Book-themed gourds sought

Posted: Monday, October 22, 2007

From pumpkin-cutting bumpkins to gourd-gouging gods, the Soldotna Public Library is inviting everyone to take part in their ongoing Third Annual Pumpkin Carving and/or Painting Contest.

"We're hoping they all start coming in this week," said library clerk Kathlyne McLeod.

Painted pumpkins have been accepted since the beginning of the month, while carved pumpkins have been accepted since Wednesday. Pumpkins can be brought to the library until Saturday, at which time all submissions will be judged.

Awards will be given out to the winners of four categories preschool, elementary, teens and family. There also will be a grand prize for the best in contest. Entries must represent a fictional book character.

After the quality of last year's pumpkins, McLeod said this year's contestants will have big shoes to fill.

"We had one that was painted to look like the evil clown from Stephen King's 'It.' That one was the family winner. We had another pumpkin painted all pink, like Wilbur the pig from 'Charlotte's Web.' The stem was the snout, and they brought it in with a whole spider-web scene. It was really cute," she said.

McLeod said last year's best in the contest winner stole the show, though.

"It was a pumpkin completely carved to look like the pumpkin carriage from 'Cinderella.' There was a Barbie doll riding inside and plastic horses out front pulling it. It was really something," she said.

MacLeod said the contest does more than getting children to carve their favorite characters into a pumpkin.

"It encourages them to read, and it encourages families to do things together," she said.

All entries dropped off at the library should be ready for display. Entries must include a 3-by-5 inch card. The name of the character and the title and author of the book should be on the front of the card.

On the back of the card, participants provide their name, mailing address, contact phone number and the category of the submission.

All entries will be on display at the library until the end of business on Nov. 1, at which time all pumpkins not picked up by their creators will be thrown away.

For more information on the contest, contact the Soldotna Public Library at 262-4227.

Joseph Robertia can be reached at

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