Photo special to Alachua County Today / High /Springs CRA's Amy Bohanon, accompanied by son Hudson, as she displays the award for STEAK OUT, winning pumpkin that Most Represented High Springs


HIGH SPRINGS ‒ Downtown High Springs was Halloween headquarters this past Saturday, Oct. 28, as people participated in the Fourth Great Pumpkin Decorating Contest, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe and the High Springs Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA). The Kiwanis Club and supporting downtown High Springs businesses handed out candy and treats to young trick or treaters.

The Pumpkin Decorating Contest was held along Railroad Avenue in the area referred to as Greenspace west of Main Street. Painted, carved and decorated pumpkins were submitted for judging in several categories including Children ages six and younger, Youth for children seven to 12-years-of age, Family for folks 13 or older and City Departments and Businesses.

“The turnout was excellent,” said Linda Hewlett, one of the organizers of the event. People were able to vote for their favorite pumpkins in each category by casting a ticket as their vote. The pumpkins with the highest number of tickets won. In addition, a special prize was awarded for the pumpkin most representing High Springs.

Winners in the Ages 0 – 6 Category were Aria Bates, Elliot Chum, Ezekiel Forrest and Hudson Hoffman. Winners in the Ages 7 – 12 Category were Ella Bredehoft, Paisley Osteen, Lydia Cook and tied also for third place was Coen Zekic.

In the Adults ages 13 and up Category winners were Mitch Knitson, Carla Bridehoelt and Alachua Mayor Gib Coerper. In the City Employees Category Chris Tatum from the High Springs Fire Department took top honors. In the City Business Owners Category, Zachary Baker from Bryan’s Ace Home Center took top honors. The CRA Award for the Pumpkin that best represented the City of High Springs went to Terry Gianos from Steak Out’s Water Tower Pumpkin.

In addition to bragging rights, winners in the Ages 0 - 6 Category received small Halloween buckets with plastic toys and stuffed animals. Winners in the 7-12 Category received larger buckets with ice cream coupons from the Creamery, a Florida Springs Booklet, Hardees coupons and more. All contestants in the Adult Category received a white rose with a 10 percent discount from Thompson's Florist.

The First Place Winner received a $40 certificate from El Patio and a $50 certificate for Madison's Boutique as well as gift cards from ACE Hardware. Second Place was awarded coffee and accessories from The Mercantile and a $50 gift card from Winn Dixie. The adult Third Place Winner received a basket of gifts from Unique Notions, a $15 card from Zaxbys and Santa Cards from Lanza Gallery.

The Winning Business Category was Bryan's ACE Home Center who received a plaque commemorating the win. The High Springs Fire Rescue Department won the City Employee Category and received a coupon for five extra-large pizzas from Pepperoni's Pizza.

Proceeds from this event go toward Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe, which benefit children.

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