Crest Hardware carves up a ghouly good time

The Brooklyn Paper
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Photo gallery

The judges were spoiled for choice at Crest Hardware’s second-annual pumpkin-carving contest! But wait, there’s much better than these!
A deft hand makes pumpkin effigies out of late bad guys Saddam Hussein (left) and Osama bin Laden.
Amanda Franquinha’s tempting “hamburger” won “Most Creative.”
A masked entry comes dressed to thrill.
A regurgitating gourd is a puke-tastic feat of Halloween art.
Squash sculptress Kate Ward-Walton is deemed “Best in Show” with her “3D werewolf.”
Kate Ward-Walton (right) receives her winning gift certificate from Joseph Franquinha and co-curator Liza Shields.

Creative types had gourds of pre-Halloween fun on Saturday when Crest True Value Hardware held a pumpkin-carving contest in Williamsburg to see who could spawn the most spooktacular squash for the calendar’s kookiest day.

More than 30 art-smart contestants paraded their cool orange offerings by the light of the silvery orb in front of hundreds of visitors who crammed the store’s moonlit garden to goggle at the beautiful behemoths and cast their votes.

Gift certificates were presented to the winners, who were judged in “Most Creative,” “A for Effort” and “Best in Show” — the latter aced by Williamsburg squash sculptress Kate Ward-Walton for her goosebump-rising take on a werewolf — a 3D marvel with intricately carved layers to create depth and shadow.

Contender James Peach lived up to his name — and won a “surprise” category — by entering a pepo primped to look like a peach, its skin finely sanded to resemble the real McCoy.

Everyone came away with eye candy and a delicious zest for the approaching day of tricks and treats, said owner Joseph Franquinha, whose family has owned and operated Crest for 49 years.

“Our contest stretches out the spirit of the holiday,” he enthused.

The Franquinhas claimed some bragging rights of their own when sister Amanda won “Most Creative” with her “hamburger” pumpkin — a phant-tastic feat, complete with a “sesame” encrusted bun and crumpled paper to replicate lashings of meat.

And, lest you think she had an edge over the competition — the tourney was judged by a public ballot, added her big bro’.

Reach reporter Shavana Abruzzo at or by calling (718) 260-2529.
Updated 5:27 pm, July 9, 2018
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