Stockinged witch wins library pumpkin contest

Charlie sits next to his sheep pumpkin, the third-place winner.

By James Kinneen
Hometown Weekly Reporter

If you’ve visited the Dover Town Library lately, you’ve likely seen the wide variety of colorful, decorated pumpkins that were scattered throughout the building. What you might not have known, however, is that voting was taking place to see which three pumpkins were the community’s favorites - and which one gourd would be crowned the most beloved.

Nancy Tegeler explained how the competition, which was open to participants of all ages, worked, and noted that the pumpkins were decorated at home after being checked out like library books.

“The pumpkins were donated by a local farm, and then the library put barcodes on them. Kids and families used their library card to check out the pumpkins, and they had a due date of October 28. We got them all back decorated, and we’ve had them available for two days for people to vote. And all kinds of people, community members, have already come in and voted. It’s just a great, fun event, this is the third year, so I was really pleased with the pumpkins.”

Because the decorating was done at home rather than at the library, along with the classic paint and glitter, there were a wide variety of props being used in the competition. One pumpkin was a bagpiper, complete with a mini bagpipe. Others, like a giant pineapple pumpkin, wore sunglasses. Various different types of hats seemed to be a popular choice. But while there were no limits on ways to decorate, there was one rule: no carving. Why? The library did it once, and it didn’t go well.

The champion stocking-wearing witch in all her glory.

The champion stocking-wearing witch in all her glory.

“The first year I did it, we had two divisions: carving and decorating. But the carving ones all rotted because they were inside. So now, we have just decorating.”

Last Tuesday, the participants filed into the library to hear the winners announced - and to receive their prize bags full of Halloween games. After some last-minute voting and a brief speech from Police Chief Peter McGowan on trick-or-treating safety - everything from being careful crossing the street to checking candy was covered, as was a friendly suggestion that “if you get any of those gross Mounds [bars], you can drop them off at the police station” - the winners were announced.

When the votes were tallied, who were the winners? Third place went to a cotton-ball-covered pumpkin sheep, from a boy named Charlie. A girl’s unicorn pumpkin took second. The overall winner was a stocking-wearing witch, whose creator wasn’t present. While there was no moment of glory for the witch pumpkin maker, it was a deserving champion, and will be tough to top next year.

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