From a Japanese lantern to a skull adorned in roses to a stripper shimmying down a pole – complete with attached dollar bill, these definitely weren’t your parents’ Jack O’Lanterns. Those three, along with Homer Simpson, Captain America, a fire breathing dragon and many more, were just some of the wildly creative entries at the third annual Crest Hardware Pumpkin Carving Contest, last Saturday, October 20th.
Sculpted gourd fans packed the Crest Garden Center on Metropolitan Avenue to vote for the best submissions in four categories: Best in Show, Most Creative, Best Classic Jack O’Lantern and A for Effort (“great idea, but really poor execution”) at the Joe Franquinha and Liza Shields produced contest. To help pass the time while the votes were tallied, contest-goers munched on snacks washed down with seasonally appropriate beverages, like Gluhwein and Adult Cider, and danced to tunes spun by DJ Dom Rocket.
By 10:00PM, the results were in, and it was time for Franquinha to announce the winners, each of whom received prizes, such as gift certificates from local restaurants like Carmine’s and Dumont. The winners: Most Creative – Moustache (or a self-portrait of the sculptor), Best Classic Jack O’Lantern – Angry Looking Pumpkin (honorable mention in the category went to Assemblyman Joe Lentol’s entry), A for Effort went to the Stripper (“pumpskin” quipped Franquinha) and Best in Show was awarded to Skull Adorned with Roses.