“Keep Calm and Carve a Pumpkin”

By: Amy Lenihan |Herald Contributor

Halloween is just around the corner, and with it comes the opportunity to participate in some fun fall festivities. Pumpkin carving is a Halloween tradition that allows for your creativity to flow. However, sometimes it can be difficult to find a starting point for your designs.

“Keep Calm and Carve a Pumpkin” was an event put on by CEN that took place Friday, Oct. 13 in Upper Commons. To add to the spooky atmosphere of “Friday the 13th,” CEN transformed the space into a Halloween-themed spectacular.

The event offered pumpkins for students to carve, as well as a selection of tools and stencils for participants to use to make their pumpkin-carving dreams come true. An array of cake pops and candy to snack on were also available for students, and the film “Halloweentown” was played.

Participants then had the opportunity to enter their finished carvings in one of four categories: best overall, funniest, scariest, and “You Tried.” Prizes for the winner of each category included an Amazon Echo, tickets to the Fear Factory in Providence, a bean bag chair, and a Yeti water bottle. Each winner also received an engraved trophy for their work.

Designs in the room included haunted houses, spider webs, and spooky jack-o’-lantern faces. Pumpkins were already gutted for the students, and additional pumpkin scraps from carving were collected by the Roger Williams Eco-Reps sustainability team to be composted.

The Eco-Reps also offer a service for Pumpkin Pick-Ups on campus. Those who want to compost their pumpkins can contact [email protected]. Pick up days are Oct. 19 and Oct. 26 from 5 p.m.-7 p.m.

The winner of the “You Tried” category, sophomore Meghan Knizak, had gone into the event with big plans. However, the contest can only last for so long, and those plans were stopped about halfway through.

“I had wanted to carve a spider on a web, but I ran out of time, so it ended up as an outline with only a few sections actually carved out,” Knizak said. “I can’t believe I actually won! It’s so funny.”

The winning design of scariest pumpkin went to a frightening face. A classic for pumpkin carvings, faces are timeless, and depending on what design you choose, relatively easy. One iteration of this idea could be a face with stars or crescent moons for eyes instead of the usual circle shape.

The funniest pumpkin was won by a cat design. The front of the pumpkin was the cat’s head, and on the opposite side was the cat’s tail. The clever design made the judges and contestants laugh. This style can also be used to make the pumpkin look like a witch flew through it.

The best overall pumpkin was won by an intricate fish design. By utilizing the carved out bits of pumpkin and toothpicks, the winner was able to create fins, a tail, and even what resembled an angular fish lure. A fun way to use this concept would be to make cat ears out of carved pieces and stick them on the top of a cat face on the pumpkin.

By recreating some of the winning designs, you too can have award-worthy pumpkins to decorate your dorm rooms with this Halloween. Happy haunting, everyone!