As the leaves continue to turn and the temperature continues to drop, it is truly beginning to fell like fall on Centre’s campus. It’s the perfect time of year to sip on pumpkin-spiced lattes, bundle up in warm sweaters and have a bonfire is also a great time to visit a pumpkin patch.

The Grace Doherty Library decided to take advantage of this fun fall activity and use it is a way to encourage students to decorate the pumpkins they pick to then display them in the library.

Any Centre College student entering the Grace Doherty Library would be hard-pressed to miss the diverse array of colorful pumpkins set up by the Reference Desk.

“This is the second year we have sponsored the Pumpkin Decorating Contest,” the Grace Doherty library’s Head of Reference and Instruction Carrie Frey said; “Crystal Ellis, one of our Research and Instruction Librarians, is the coordinator of the event and it was her idea to start the contest in 2014.”

All students are invited to enter the Pumpkin Decorating Contest each year and can enter as many pumpkins as they like to win prizes in various categories. Even if they do not want to enter the contest, students are invited to vote for their favorite pumpkins and check out the pumpkins that their fellow students have put so much time and effort into decorating.

The entries for the contest have been very creative in the past few years, and this year is no different. The decorated pumpkins this year were very diverse, and ranged from a golden snitch to a Pokemon and even a Minion.

One Centre student, Catherine Peters, was so inspired by the contest that she had three entries—a golden snitch, a Pikachu pumpkin with a tiny Pokeball pumpkin beside it, and a Lorax pumpkin. The contest ended on October 30th and Peters was surprised and honored to discover that all three of her pumpkins won in their respective categories. She says that her inspiration is nothing of a surprise to her fellow Centre students.

“Most students of my year know me as Pikachu Girl, as well as a few professors,” she said, “[so] I try to do something Pikachu related every Halloween.”

Photographer: Judi Zhang

Photographer: Judi Zhang

Peters, who is a Studio Art major, says that she tries her to be creative whenever she can, and tries to enter any of the art-related events at Centre.

“I spend hours in the craft section [at Walmart], and when Hobby Lobby comes to town I’m pretty sure I will spend a ridiculous amount of time there,” she said.

People who want to enter the Pumpkin Decorating Contest can put in as much time or money as they wish. For Peters, the process of painting the pumpkins was very time-intensive, though all materials were easily found at Walmart. Some pumpkins needed as many as five coats of paint, with the snitch pumpkin needing the most time and effort.

“I found metallic hot glue and thought it was perfect. The design was a little difficult because of how fast hot glue dries. The wings are gut fabric hot glued to floral wire,” Peters said. “The Lorax took the least amount of time with only pieces of fabric needing to be glued on.”

Peters encourages all students to take advantage of the creative opportunities around campus.

“Halloween is my favorite time of year and I love doing everything related,” Peters said. “The pumpkin [decorating] contest was a fun stress-relieving activity and a great way to spread my Halloween (and Pikachu) love throughout the campus!”

The winners of this year’s Pumpkin Decorating Contest were “Lance, the One-Eyed Minion” by Lanna McAninch for the faculty/staff category, “Pikachu and Pokemon” by Catherine Peters for the student category, “The Lorax” by Catherine Peters for the book character category, and “The Golden Snitch” by Catherine Peters for the fan favorite category.

Students’ creativity will be on display later this year, when the library sponsors its Edible Book contest.

“We started an Edible Book event two years ago in April, and [we] thought the pumpkin decorating contest would be a good way to extend the fun and allow students, faculty, and staff another opportunity to express themselves creatively and to connect the creative imagery to literature and the library,” Frey said. “We will be sponsoring the Edible Book Contest again in April, so there will be another opportunity for faculty, staff, and students to showcase their artistic talents in a unique way.”

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