1st Place — LATHER (183 votes)
‘LATHER: A hair co. for everyBRADY in your bunch!’
<correction>: 2nd Place — Western Ohio True Value Hardware (135 votes)
‘We Are The World’
3rd Place — Auglaize-Mercer Family YMCA (124 votes)
‘The Happiest Place on Earth’
4th Place — Pizza Hut New Bremen (104 votes)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
HONORABLE MENTION: Brookside Laboratories, Inc, with ‘One Small Step’
The pumpkin people first arrived in New Bremen in 2008. The New Bremen Parks Department used some creative flair in the seasonal decorating around town by stacking pumpkins (like a snowman) with jack-o-lantern smiling faces, sticks for arms and some accessories of hats and leaf-ed scarves. The community loved it!
The following year, the New Bremen CIC, with the help of the Southwestern Auglaize County Chamber of Commerce, encouraged local businesses to participate in a contest. When looking on photos from the early contest years, to current day displays, our local businesses have really stepped up their game!
For the 2019 Pumpkin People Contest, the creative minds were at work with a variety of themes. We had pop culture represented with a retro display of the Brady pumpkins by Lather and some 21st century humor with Dwight and Michael claiming their co-office space at Alt Space.
A birthday party celebration underway with New Bremen Coffee Co. celebrating “Cheers to Twenty Years”, and some Disney inspiration with the YMCA’s ‘Happiest place on Earth’. Creative use of gourds by the crew at 17 West with ‘Chef Ratatouille’. Front page recognition in a local newspaper for Brookside Laboratories display honoring 50 years of the moon landing. Western Ohio True Value Hardware paid homage to those victims of natural disasters not only with a declaration of loving support, but also in expression, by offering a prayer wall for spectators to share their heartfelt support. Marketing Essentials had a movie set display on their porch.
Several organizations included our youth in the creation of the displays. Holy Redeemer Church constructed ‘The One Lost Sheep’ with the youth group. New Bremen Elementary & Middle School partnered the kindergarteners and their kindergarten buddies (8th graders) with a wiggling caterpillar making its way to the new school. “The 8th grade buddies worked with their kindergarten buddies to create the pumpkins during the end of the day Cardinal Pride Time. The first day the kindergarten students were able to pick their favorite color and paint the pumpkin with help from their buddies. On the second day, they were able to choose decorations. The amount of decorations had to match their age, so students had 5 or 6 pom-poms or foam disks to pin onto the pumpkins. The student leaders decorated the head and final pumpkin and then assembled our caterpillar”, explained Stephanie Elking, Intervention Specialist, New Bremen Schools. The New Bremen Public Library worked on their mini pumpkins during story time. “Kids had freedom to paint their pumpkins however they wished, so naturally they range from self-portraits to landscapes to what you could call “abstract” art. While a few kids decided to take their pumpkins home to decorate their own house, most were ecstatic about having theirs on display for everyone to see. One little girl in particular couldn’t stop exclaiming “I can see my pumpkin every time I come to the library!”, shared Laura Freer Henderson, assistant supervisor at NB Public Library.
To top off the voting week, the JH/HS Cross Country teams had a 20-minute pumpkin run/dash. The teams were challenged to capture as many pumpkin people displays as possible during their Friday Fun Run.
Thank you to all the business and organizations who have participated in this annual display contest over the years. It is a positive, fun seasonal activity that our community and neighboring communities enjoy.
All 21 of the 2019 creative displays, can be found here.