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Lake Ridge holds annual Pumpkin Contest

Brandon Paykamian • Oct 25, 2019 at 9:00 PM

Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother was famous for turning a pumpkin into a carriage.

Amateur.

Students at Lake Ridge Elementary have turned pumpkins into heroes, heroines, villains and even a marshmallow man.

Those transformations were part of this year’s Pumpkin Contest at Lake Ridge Elementary School where winners were announced Friday after students were encouraged to celebrate their favorite book characters through pumpkin decorations.

Library Media Specialist Maria LaBarbera said the contest was a way to encourage students to get creative and visualize their favorite stories’ heroes and villains.

“It’s been really exciting to see what they’ve had to bring in,” LaBarbera said of the pumpkins decorated on Thursday. “We look for ways to motivate them to love reading through fun ways like this.

“When they take their favorite character and turn it into something beautiful and creative, it just brings a lot of joy, I think.”

In the school’s front lobby, more than 50 characters from popular children's’ stories and series were displayed, including Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz,” Harry Potter, Captain Underpants and others.

One of those others was Tilling, a heroic mouse.

Fourth-grader Caleb Parsons Lott depicted Tilling, the hero from “Tale of the Despereaux.” Caleb said he chose Tilling — a mouse who sets out on a quest to save a princess in danger — because of his courage and bravery.

Caleb’s choice proved noteworthy itself. The depiction of Tilling won him a first-place ribbon in the grades 3-4 category, along with a $20 gift certificate for the school’s Book Fair in February. 

“He was brave and adventurous, and the book was very fun to read,” he said. “He was brave, unlike any other mouse.” 

Other winners included: 

• Kindergartener Elliott Seals (Geronimo Stilton from the “Geronimo Stilton” book series)

• First-grader Liam Peters (Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from the “Ghostbusters” franchise)

• Second-grader Caroline Barrett  (Biscuit from the “Biscuit” series)

• Fourth-grader Chloe Mould (“Pusheen”) 

• Third-grader Laura Kimmons (Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz”) 

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