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Carving out some pumpkin fun October half term 2016

Pumpkin carving competition

Spooky squashes will light up Great Yarmouth seafront as a pumpkin carving competition puts a smile on the face of Halloween over October half term 2016 when Pumpkinanza returns to the popular beach resort for a second year.

This fun family event is now looking for creative carvers to design and create the illuminated characters who will become the glowing stars of the show. 

Pumpkinanza was launched in 2015 and saw 70 entries for an event now hailed as Norfolk’s biggest pumpkin carving competition.

The gallery of gourds will be the centrepiece of an evening which also features a free fireworks display and “horrid history” tales as storytellers bring Great Yarmouth’s hidden heritage back to life.

The event on Wednesday October 26th, 2016 is organised by Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area Limited, whose Events Group chairman Lyndon Bevan said: “Halloween is a magical time for family fun and we hope our Pumpkinanza evening captures the spirit of the tradition. The event had a successful debut last year, and we want to build on its popularity, making it bigger and better.”

There are four age categories for the competition: Under 5's; 5-10 years; 11-17 years and 18-plus, with all entrants receiving a specially-made stick of Pumpkinanza rock.

To enter, simply design and carve your pumpkin then download an entry form and fill in your details. Bring the completed entry form and your pumpkin along to the Sea Life Centre Gardens between 4pm and 6pm. Tea lights will be provided so your carvings will be illuminated for all visitors to enjoy.

Judging will take place from 6pm with winners and runners-up in each category announced live on the Heart roadshow stage with prizes awarded by the Mayor Malcolm Bird shortly after 7pm.

There are prizes in all categories, with family passes to the Sea Life Centre and Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens. Adult winners also get two Classic race day tickets including afternoon tea; under 17s a family pass to Pleasurewood Hills, 5-10s a family gold pass to Joyland and under-5s a family pass to Pettits Animal Adventure Park.

There is also a Haven family short break prize for the two overall winners of the combined under-5’s and 5-10 years and 11-17 years and 18-plus categories.

The “horrible histories” include stories of pirates and punishment and tales from the Tolhouse gaoler. They are told from 4.30pm to 6.30pm by Heritage Guides dressed as characters from the town’s past.

The Heart roadshow will also be on the Sea Life Centre gardens from 5.30pm until 7.30pm when a free firework display is set off.

People can enjoy attractions along the Golden Mile and take their pumpkins home at the end of the evening.
Entrants are also encouraged to post their pumpkin pictures on social media with the hashtag #ShareTheGreatTimes

Top pumpkin carving tips
Cut off the top with a sharp serrated knife
Scoop out the seeds and fibres using a large serving spoon
Draw a simple outline of a face on the pumpkin
Cut out the eyes, nose and mouth with a small serrated knife
Always cut away from you in case the knife slips
Put a tea light inside and replace the top to test the effect

What to do with the insides?
Pumpkin can provide the ingredient for a variety of tasty foods.
They include cake, pie, soup, risotto, curry with chickpeas, bacon and pumpkin pasta, sausage and pumpkin roast, or a chutney
A range of recipes can be found online. 

Pumpkin folk lore
Pumpkin carving is believed to originate in Ireland in the 19th century
They are also known as Jack O Lanterns – based on a myth about Stingy Jack, barred from heaven and hell, who roamed the earth with a burning coal, inside a turnip to light his way.
The carving also originally involved beet and mangel wurzels
The tradition was taken to America by Irish settlers – using the native crop of pumpkins.