Pumpkin carving and more Oct. 8 Hoquiam Event Center

With October in full effect, many people are getting prepared for the wet weather that is accustomed to living on the Olympic Peninsula. While the weather conditions can turn even the brightest people into gloomy caricatures, the anticipation of Halloween can be a mood raiser. Even though the annual festive holiday isn’t for another three-plus weeks, that hasn’t stopped some people from hosting local events.

A pumpkin carving contest and vendor market will be held this weekend in the inner Harbor. The event, which will be hosted by Fatima Marketing & Business Advocacy 4 Women as well as Harbor Beads and Crafts, will feature a minor-aged and adult-aged pumpkin carving contest, 20 unique arts and crafts vendors, and live music among other things.

Tasha Ross, who is helping organize the event along with her colleague Dawn Huntsman-Cuellar, said she’s excited to hold their first public Halloween event for the community and that hopefully, it will turn into something that happens for many years.

“The goal is to have a successful market system and something for the kids in the community to enjoy,” Ross said. “We sent out a lot of fliers to different businesses and schools across the county for them to be able to share in the experience and because we think it’s important for the county as a whole to come together for festive events.”

Ross said she has 70 pumpkins available for the carving contest and that the minor-aged pumpkin carving contest, which has a $6 buy-in, and will be broken down into age categories of zero to three, five to 10, and 11 to 17. The winner of each minor-aged category will receive a kid’s harvest gift basket. Markers and decorations will be available for parents who do not want their kids to carve a pumpkin.

For the adult-aged carving contest, the buy-in will be $30, with the grand prize being half of the cash pot collected from all the buy-ins. People who are interested in buying a pumpkin to carve at home can do so for $6. All guests who wish to enter the carving contest must pay by cash only to Ross or Huntsman-Cuellar by 10 a.m. at the event center.

“It’s a cool opportunity for someone to win a good chunk of money depending on how many people participate,” Ross said. “The other chunk of the money goes to funding the event and helping the sponsoring businesses.”