Shelby hosts contest searching for greatest pumpkin this Halloween

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published October 26, 2020

  Calla Smith, 6, sits next to her pumpkin design for the Shelby Township Library’s contest to find the greatest pumpkin.

Calla Smith, 6, sits next to her pumpkin design for the Shelby Township Library’s contest to find the greatest pumpkin.

Photo provided by the Shelby Township Library

 Hazel Smith, 4, shows off her rainbow painting design for the contest.

Hazel Smith, 4, shows off her rainbow painting design for the contest.

Photo provided by the Shelby Township Library

 Logan Crain, 5, holds his pumpkin design, which includes a dinosaur addition.

Logan Crain, 5, holds his pumpkin design, which includes a dinosaur addition.

Photo provided by the Shelby Township Library

 Maizie Smith, 9, shows off her pumpkin painting design.

Maizie Smith, 9, shows off her pumpkin painting design.

Photo provided by the Shelby Township Library

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Do you think you can create the most interesting and greatest pumpkin in all of Shelby Township and Utica? Would you like to win a prize, too? Look no further.

The Shelby Township Library is looking for the greatest pumpkin design around. If you think that you can make the most interesting and greatest pumpkin, head on over to the township website and find out more on how to submit your creation.

You can paint, carve or decorate a pumpkin of your own and submit your design for a chance to win a gift basket.

The contest is entirely virtual. It requires only some creativity and that participants take a picture with their completed pumpkin designs and email them.

This is the first time the library has run the pumpkin decorating contest, and staff members are looking forward to the pumpkin design submissions they will be receiving.

Bethany Harnden, one of the children’s librarians running the contest for the library, said that due to COVID-19, the library thought having a few contests virtually before Halloween could give people something fun to participate in together.

“While we are unable to offer in-person programs at this time due to safety precautions, we still want to engage with our library patrons virtually and through brief activities at the library. Halloween season is one of our favorite times of the year for family activities, and we would enjoy seeing how people are celebrating the season through pumpkin decorating,” said Harnden.

She said the library offers books that people can check out for ideas on pumpkin carving and painting.

The contest is open to all ages, and submissions will be accepted through Oct. 31. Winners will be contacted the following week.

People can view and vote for the contest information at shelbytwp.org/contests and on the Shelby Township Library Facebook page.

Photos will be accepted in any format emailed to shelbytownshiplibrary@gmail.com. The library also will print the photo submissions and display them on the window in the youth area of the library.

“We welcome everyone to stop by the library to view the creative creations,” said Harnden.

The library has already received a few submissions and is expecting to see quite a few more before the deadline.

Participants can get creative in the materials they choose.

“We’d also like to see how people put other materials to use decorating their pumpkins. Glitter, feathers, foam, pipe cleaners and other craft supplies can help your pumpkin stand out,” said Harnden.

Four lucky participants will win a movie night gift basket for their design.

“The family movie night gift baskets contain treats such as popcorn, flavored seasonings, candies and sodas,” said Harnden.

Jennifer Sunderhaus, the other youth librarian, said she has already been enjoying seeing the submissions that have been sent in so far.

“We can tell that the kids are having a lot of fun making their pumpkins with their families,” she said.

Sunderhaus said participants can use their Halloween spirit to make the most creative design they can think of.

“People can carve or paint their pumpkins however they’d like. Halloween really brings out the creativity in people, and we’d love to see how spooky or silly the pumpkins turn out,” said Sunderhaus.

For more information on the contest, visit shelbytwp.org/contests.

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