Pumpkin people return to North Smithfield

Owen Almeida, 13, and his mother, Tina Almeida, stand alongside their display of pumpkin people “Superheroes” during last year’s Pumpkin People of North Smithfield competition. The 2nd annual contest is currently underway.

NORTH SMITHFIELD – The pumpkin people are back, and this time, the competition is fierce as residents try to outdo last year’s creations.

The North Smithfield Pumpkin People competition is now in its second year decorating the streets of North Smithfield. Briten Corriveau and Catherine Reyes, the organizers behind the contest, said they decided to bring it back after seeing the success of last year’s event.

“I had a blast. I loved it, and I loved the creativity it brought into our town,” Reyes said.

“We got a lot of great feedback that everybody just had so much fun doing it with their family,” Corriveau added.

The rules are simple: buy a pumpkin, or several, and decorate your yard using the pumpkins as characters. Residents last year made displays featuring everything from soccer players to aliens to characters from their favorite TV shows.

“Every time I think about the Tiger King, it still makes me chuckle,” Corriveau said.

In one memorable display last year, she said, a family created a lineup of superheroes to honor their own “superhero” who had battled cancer.

“When we delivered the prize, they shared the story that they had a child cancer survivor and it was a really special event for them to do,” she said.

This year, participants will compete for three $50 cash prizes sponsored by the North Smithfield Heritage Association. The winners will be announced during the Spooky Spirits Night at Goodwin Brothers Farm on Saturday, Oct. 23.

Like last year, Reyes and Corriveau are encouraging residents to buy their pumpkins local to support local farms after a tough year.

They’re also hoping to get more students involved and have distributed flyers at North Smithfield Elementary School. Corriveau said businesses can also get in on the fun.

“Last year, National Marker did a really great display,” she said. “If other local businesses want to get involved, we’d love to see that.”

To participate, residents and business owners can visit the “Second Annual Pumpkin People of North Smithfield” page on Facebook and share a photo of their display. They should also message the page with their address so the judges can find it. Entries must be in by Oct. 20.

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