New face of pumpkin carving takes center stage

October 17, 2004|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

WAYNESBORO, PA. - Pumpkin carving has come a long way since fathers used a paring knife to cut triangles for the eyes and nose, then carved a few squared-off teeth for their children's pumpkins at Halloween.

Children now use paper patterns to create intricate designs and have a variety of small, safe tools for sawing through thick pumpkin shells.

Despite Saturday's damp, chilly weather, a small crowd gathered at Renfrew Park in Waynesboro to "gut" and carve pumpkins, decorate pumpkin-shaped cookies, make scarecrows and eat soup, cider, apples, breads and hot dogs.


The Renfrew Pumpkin Festival is held annually to raise money for the Renfrew Museum and Renfrew Institute.

Nicholas Stouffer, 5, of Waynesboro, put a paper pattern of a spider against his tall, narrow pumpkin and poked holes to transfer the design. He then sawed carefully along the holes, removing pieces of pumpkin shell, to create the spider design. His father, Eric Stouffer, assisted.

Nicholas said he carves a pumpkin every year, but that this was his first visit to the pumpkin festival. He plans to put a candle in the pumpkin to light up his spider.

He said he chose the Web Crawler pattern "because I like spiders."

"If they're not real," said his mother, Bonnie Stouffer.

Volunteers tended iron soup kettles set over wood fires while the five-member Twin Hill Express bluegrass band provided live music.

Cydney Baranowske, 2, helped her parents, John and Melanie Baranowske of Waynesboro, stuff straw into some old clothes to create a scarecrow.

Beside them, Mason Parker, 4, of Hagerstown, preferred to play in the loose hay rather than help his brother, Riley Parker, 2, and aunt, Karen Lowry of Greencastle, Pa., make a scarecrow. Lowry said the head of their straw man will be a plastic pumpkin.

Riley said he colored a pumpkin cookie "blue and purple and black." He had a black bat painted on his cheek at the face-painting booth.

Another popular activity was the hayride, provided by two mules, Kate and Pearl.

Tim Frantz, 17, of Waynesboro, held the mules while children and adults boarded the wagon driven by his father, Alan Frantz. Tim Frantz said Kate and Pearl are used on their 136-acre farm to rake hay when they are not attending festivals.

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