Carve out a little time for CROW’s 2020 Pumpkin Carving and Design Contest

Sept. 2, 2020 — CROW (Children’s Repertory of Oregon Workshops) is excited to announce a “spooktacular” diversion this fall that will be open to the general public. For the first time ever, CROW will be offering a Pumpkin Carving and Design Contest and will be awarding some really great prizes in four different categories.

“It has been a really tough year,” said CROW Artistic Director Melanie Heard. “Many people I know are struggling to remain positive, amidst a seemingly endless onslaught of disappointment. Myself included.”

According to Heard, she and CROW’s board of directors became sad when the realization finally set in that CROW was not going to be able to offer the non-profit’s annual Scare-CROW Haunted Maze.

“I look forward to the maze every year,” she said. “We had already selected a theme, and we were crossing all of our collective fingers that the maze would somehow be allowed to happen.”

But with statewide COVID-19 restrictions, large gatherings are still impossible. CROW’s entire non-profit organization is built upon gatherings such as classes, workshops, events, and performances — none of which have been able to happen since March. CROW not only was forced to cancel its mainstage production of “Mary Poppins,” but all of its camps, classes and fundraisers, leaving the organization gasping for air.

“To get our minds off all of the things we ‘can’t’ do, I decided to try to focus on something we ‘can’ do,” Heard said. “I feel a strong calling to do whatever we can to boost morale in the community.”

That’s when Heard had the idea for a Pumpkin Carving Contest. She added that CROW’s students, families, volunteers, supporters and the incredible artists in the community of Florence are “some of the most talented and creative people” she knows.

Specific rules and general information about entering the contest are currently available on CROW’s website. But for now, CROW hopes people will start thinking about what kind of design they might like to enter.

The contest will have four categories, each with a corresponding prize valued at over $25: Munchkins (ages 3-10), Scariest Squash, Funniest Character and the “Jack O. Lantern” Grand Prize Award for the Best and Most Creative Overall Pumpkin. There will also be bonus points available for pumpkins that include any reference to the world of theatre arts — such as Broadway, show tunes, famous stage or screen actors, etc.

Entries will be done via digital format (photographs), to keep everyone safe in these uncertain times. The deadline for submission will be Oct. 15.

“I am really hoping that people will go all out,” said Heard. “We are hoping lots of kids and adults will enter, and we will be sharing pictures of the fabulous creations on our Facebook page and via email for everyone to see. This is a great opportunity to bring a little joy back to our community. I think we could all use a little happiness.”

If you are interested in sponsoring the contest, or have any questions, email Heard at [email protected]. Visit for contest rules and the official online entry form.