5th Annual Somethin’ Pumpkin Winners Announced

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Somethin’ Pumpkin is an annual tradition of fall favorites – food, family, and fun. Originally designed by N.C. Cooperative Extension to connect families to local agriculture and local community resources, the event continues to grow each year.

“We were excited to see the number of families and youth who participated in this year’s contests. This event is designed to encourage both youth and adults to spend time cooking – especially with foods and recipes that may be new to them,” said Linda J. Minges, Family & Consumer Science Agent with NC Cooperative Extension. “We look forward to begin planning for next year’s event.”

With friendly competition in our pumpkin decorating contest and cooking contest, participants truly wowed the judges during this year’s event.

Pumpkin Decorating Contest Winners Announced

There were over 30 entries in Gaston County Public Library’s annual Pumpkin Decorating Contest. Participants were asked to decorate small pumpkins based on the characters and themes in Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s books, the most famous being Where the Wild Things Are. The pumpkins, in the categories of Kindergarten-2nd Grade, 3rd-5th Grade, and Family, were judged based on their creativity and the use of the Sendak theme. Three winners were announced at Somethin’ Pumpkin:

  • First Place, Kindergarten – 2nd Grade: Alligators All Around – submitted by Addison Spurling
  • First Place, 3rd – 5th Grade: Where the Wild Things Are Sea Monster – submitted by Carter Auciello
  • First Place, Family: Where the Wild Things Are Grass Hut – submitted by Shad Bumgarner
Winning entries of the 5th Annual Somethin' Pumpkin Decorating Contest

Winning entries of the 5th Annual Somethin’ Pumpkin Decorating Contest

Following Saturday’s event, all pumpkins were returned to the Main Library and placed on display in the children’s room for the people’s choice voting session.

“It is always a treat to see kids incorporate their favorite books into their design for the pumpkin decorating contest and to see families enjoying the crafts and activities at the annual Somethin’ Pumpkin event,” said Emily Winfrey, Youth Services Manager with Gaston County Public Library.

Somethin’ Pumpkin Cooking Contest Winners Announced

Both youth and adults participated in the event with more than seventy entries, which included a wide variety of creative and delicious foods. Two new categories were added, which gave youth contestants even more opportunity to showcase their pumpkin-inspired cuisine. Eight contest categories included: 1) Main Dish, 2) Desserts, 3) Miscellaneous, 4) Home Grown, 5) Youth (ages 8-12):  Main Dish & Miscellaneous, 6) Youth: Ages 8-12 – Desserts, 7) Youth:  Ages 13-18:  Main Dish & Miscellaneous, and 8) Youth:  Ages 13-18:  Desserts.

Through the sponsorship of the Gaston County Farm Bureau prizes were awarded in each category: first place – $100, second place – $50, and third place – $25. A grand prize of $200 was awarded to the overall contest winner. Congratulations to all contest winners including:

Grand Prize Winner

  • Pumpkin Spice Cake – submitted by Shannah Grace Spargo of Belmont. Special recognition goes to Miss Spargo, who was a youth contestant in the Youth (Ages 8-12) categories.
picture of grand prize winner of the fifth annual somethin' pumpkin cooking contest

5th Annual Somethin’ Pumpkin Cooking Contest’s Grand prize winner – Shannah Grace Spargo.

Main Dish Category Winners

  • First Place: Fall Harvest Pizza – submitted by Jamie Smith of Lincolnton
  • Second Place: Spicy Pumpkin Chili – submitted by Christopher Smith of Mooresville
  • Third Place: Pumpkin Shells by the Sea – submitted by Ann Helms of Gastonia

Dessert Category Winners

  • First Place:  Pumpkin Roll Cookies – submitted by Ann Helms of Gastonia
  • Second Place:  Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Bars – submitted by Janet Bowen of Bessemer City
  • Third Place:  Pumpkin Delight Dessert – submitted by Sandy Long of Gastonia

Miscellaneous Category Winners

  • First Place: Pumpkin Dip – submitted by Hope Jordan of Gastonia
  • Second Place: Pumpkin Spice Truffles – submitted by Ann Helms of Gastonia
  • Third Place:  Pumpkin Pasta Sauce – submitted by Sandy Long of Gastonia

Youth (Ages 8-12): Main Dish & Miscellaneous Winners

  • First Place: Pumpkin Sage Stuffed Shells – submitted by Sarah Scism of Bessemer City
  • Second Place:  Pig Candy Pumpkin Grilled Cheese – submitted by Payton Lenox of Mt. Holly
  • Third Place:  Spicy Pumpkin Chili – submitted by Shannah Grace Spargo of Belmont

Youth (Ages 8-12):  Dessert Category Winners

  • First Place: Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting – submitted by Sydney Sheppard
  • Second Place: Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls – submitted by Sarah Scism of Bessemer City
  • Third Place: Macadamia Nut Pumpkin Cookies – submitted by Addison Brooke Brown of Lincolnton

Youth (Ages 13-18): Main Dish & Miscellaneous Category Winners

  • First Place: Pumpkin Spice Casserole – submitted by Madison Dodd of Dallas
  • Second Place: Savory Pumpkin Pizza – submitted by East Gaston High School – Foods & Nutrition 1 Class Students:  Nathaniel Anderson, Allie Hinson, Camden Silvers, Trevar Williams
  • Third Place: Pumpkin Turkey Chili – submitted by East Gaston High School – Foods & Nutrition 1 Class Students:  Courtney Bethune, Gabby Carver, Caleb Cassada, Edan Senecal

Youth (Ages 13-18):  Dessert Winners

  • First Place: Pumpkin Cheesecake Delights – Submitted by Kelli McGuire of Maiden
  • Second Place: Praline Upside Down Pumpkin Cake – Submitted by East Gaston HS – Foods & Nutrition 1 Class:  Nick Adair, David Florex-Rodriguez, Amber Jones, Noah Pilgrim
  • Third Place: Pumpkin Pie Pop Tart – Submitted by East Gaston HS – Foods & Nutrition 1 Class

Home Grown Category Winners

  • First Place: Pumpkin Pecan Cake – Submitted by Addison Brooke Brown of Lincolnton
  • Second Place:  Pumpkin Fudge – Submitted by Dalton Scism of Bessemer City
  • Third Place: Pumpkin Pie Pop Tart – Submitted by Sarah Scism of Bessemer City

“This event is a fun way for families to spend time together and children to learn life skills of cooking. It was exciting to see how much the event had grown from last year and the variety of recipes,” said Emily P. Crater, Liaison with Gaston County Farm Bureau.

For more information about Somethin’ Pumpkin contact Linda Minges at 704.922.2127 or linda_minges@ncsu.edu.

Many thanks to the many volunteers, partners, and sponsors that made this year’s event a great success:   City of Bessemer City, Cigna HealthSpring, Town of Dallas, Gaston County Farm Bureau, Food Lion, Ford’s Seed Store, Friends of Gaston County Public Library, Gaston College – Nutrition and Dietetics Program, Gaston County Sheriff ‘s Office, Gaston County Public Library, Gaston Gazette, Gaston County Tourism Department, Lineberger’s Farm, City of Lowell, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, KTC Broadcasting, Minges Printing Company, Mobility Works, North Carolina Extension & Community Association, WSGE 91.7 FM, Extension Master Gardener℠ program of Gaston County, and What’s Up Shopper.