It’s time to carve out your best Jack-o’-lantern!

By Taylor McClure Special to Brome County News

Brome Lake’s pumpkin carving contest is back for a second year. Organized by Shelley Judge at H Coderre & Fils Cie Ltee, with contributions from the Town of Brome Lake and Marina Knowlton’s Gerry Moar, the pumpkin carving contest is open to citizens of all ages. In the past, the event was organized by David Dawes, who owned a jewelry store in the village. It hasn’t been organized for years, but the COVID-19 pandemic brought the idea back. The event is meant to provide a safe activity for families to celebrate Halloween all while getting a little creative and having fun.

“Last year during the pandemic when we weren’t able to do anything for Halloween I had thought of doing something at the mill and Gerry walked by one day and he said, if you get the pumpkins and organize it, I’ll pay for them,” said Judge. “So, we got 100 put pumpkins.”

A similar activity was organized in the past, but it fell off the radar over the years. “Years and years ago David Dawes, who was a store owner here in Knowlton and he had a store for like 45 years, used to do a pumpkin carving contest in Knowlton on Halloween weekend or the weekend of. It hasn’t been done in years and this brought it back. During the pandemic they didn’t want you out Halloweening, and it was something that kids could still do from a pandemic standpoint.”

Judge said 45 people participated in the contest last year. She is hoping that more people will get involved this time around. “This year we are hoping for around 65 participants. There is no particular age. Even some of the old folks came this year and got some, we had a couple of people from the Manoir. Not everyone returns them for the contest. So far, out of the 100 pumpkins we only have seven left.”

With the pumpkins almost gone, Judge said she was going to pick up more if other people want to participate. “This year we will do 125, so in the end there are about 30 left.”

In terms of the rules for the contest, there is no specific theme and it’s all about getting creative. “Some carve them, some paint them, some put stickers. Some of them just have googly eyes everywhere and it’s super cute. Some artists painted on theirs and they were gorgeous.”

While the pumpkins will be judged by Dawes and people have a chance to win a prize, Judge emphasized that the goal of the activity is just to have fun. “David Dawes did it last year and kind of based it on creativity and how much time they put into it too. He had done it the year before and he did a fabulous job. Obviously for different ages he’s not looking for the same thing, but basically, it’s just for fun. We want people to participate, to get involved, and have some fun. That’s our goal.”

There will be gift certificates to local merchants in Brome Lake provided to the winners.

To participate, pumpkins are to be picked up at Corderres at 101 Rue Victoria, Knowlton and they are to be returned by Oct. 29 before 5 pm or on Oct. 30 before noon. “I’ll transport them to Coldbrook Park in Knowlton under the gazebo. I’ll put them in categories by age and then they are judged at 2 p.m. on Oct. 30.”

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