After my sister got married in the summer 1996, she and her husband began an annual tradition of hosting a family pumpkin carving contest, aka The Pumpkin Party. Over the years, the contest became larger and more elaborate. The rules became more specific. They introduced the use of a different required object each year that had to be incorporated into the design. It was always a lot of fun to see what everyone would create.
After 8 years, they stopped hosting The Pumpkin Party. There were toddlers in the family now - far too many to be in a small space with the knives, power tools and other equipment that had become standard for our contests. For the next 8 years, we carved pumpkins on our own. Then this year, The Pumpkin Party returned!
Since Trevor had never attended one, it took awhile to explain the concept to him. He was particularly confused by what we meant by a required object. (This year, all pumpkins had to feature either a toothpick or a wooden skewer.) Once he understood the rules and the scoring, he sketched out a plan which involved three pumpkins.
At first, the rules stated that we would carve as a family group. This later changed when some families weren't able to attend, which opened up more carving space. Everyone else decided to carve as individuals, but we chose to stick with our group plan. Trevor and I headed out to the pumpkin patch with three specific shapes in mind.
At home, we primed and painted our pumpkins.
No one is allowed to pierce their pumpkins until the official start time. On the word go, we began to carve. My beloved Fiskars Craft Drill came in handy.
We did some more painting.
Trevor was THRILLED with how they turned out. The judges, however, were not as impressed. We did not score well overall. I expected to get almost no points in the Carving category (since all we carved were the beaks and pig ears, plus drilling pupils and nostrils). I expected mid-range points for Name. I thought we'd score well for Creativity and for Use of Required Object, perhaps enough to make up for Carving. But alas, no. When the points were totaled, we weren't in the top half.
Top Honors (and a year's worth of bragging rights) went to my brother-in-law Brian. He carved the Gourd Foreman Grill.
He had a smoky candle burning in the grill, which was a really cool feature. His win was well-deserved.
Oh well! There's always next year!