Clara Williams shows off her green pumpkin witch at the Indian Rocks Beach pumpkin carving contest Oct. 26.
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH – The past 15 years or so the annual pumpkin carving contest in Indian Rocks Beach has been held in the City Hall auditorium. This year, because of construction at City Hall, they moved the event across the street, outside in Kolb Park, and there it is likely to stay from now on.
Dozens of families turned out for the event on Oct. 26, and it was a hit.
“I think for sure we’ll keep it outside from now on, as long as the weather holds up,” said Mayor R.B. Johnson who spent the morning going from table to table enjoying the kids’ creations.
Public Works supervisor Randy Schwab is instrumental in the organization of the event each year. He joined those who like it better in the park.
“This is better outside,” he said. “The set-up is easy and the cleanup is easy.”
Among the families carving pumpkins all over the park was Eve Basara and her family from Belleair Beach. This is an annual event for them.
“We come here every year, we never miss,” she said. “It is free, it is fun and it is great. we can leave our mess here and not all over the house. This is one of my favorite activities of the season. I love it and we get to see our neighbors and have fun.”
First timer Tim Lewallen of Largo said it wouldn’t be his last time.
“For sure we’ll be back,” he said. “This is a great time, it is awesome.”
Nearby 10 year old Clara Williams of Largo was fanning her newly painted pumpkin, trying to dry it with an old newspaper. Why paint a pumpkin?
“Because I’m making a witch and witches are green,” she said. “This is more work than I thought because the paint isn’t drying fast enough. I decided to make a witch because that’s what I thought of when I thought about Halloween”
Williams said this was her first time at the IRB event but she’ll be back for sure.
Erica DiCeglie and her family of Indian Rocks Beach have been coming to the pumpkin carving contest for many years. It is something they never miss.
“It is fun to get together with friends and family,” she said. “We come here every year. This year we’re making a purple glittering witch and a pumpkin with an afro. The kids, Livia and Carlo are doing most of the work themselves.”
Schwab estimated that between 75 and 100 people showed up for the event.
“We’ve been doing this for at least 15 years,” he said. “This year everybody seems to be enjoying the weather and the park.”
The weather certainly cooperated on Saturday. The sun was shining; the temperature on the calm day was in the mid-70 and the humidity non-existent. With conditions like that every year IRB residents can expect future events to be held outside again.