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Pumpkin contest promotes reading, creativity and hurricane relief

A “Harry Potter” themed pumpkin from a fourth-grade class at Pleasant Gap Elementary is displayed at Wheatfield Nursery in Centre Hall.
A “Harry Potter” themed pumpkin from a fourth-grade class at Pleasant Gap Elementary is displayed at Wheatfield Nursery in Centre Hall. adrey@centredaily.com

You can’t judge a book by its cover. But what about a pumpkin?

At Wheatfield Nursery in Centre Hall, people are being asked to do just that.

On Saturday and Oct. 14, the nursery is welcoming visitors to Harvest Days. One feature of the event is tables covered with festive pumpkins. But these glorified gourds aren’t your typical jack-o’-lanterns.

Nope, you won’t find a triangle nose or a toothy grin here. Instead, the pumpkins feature stories or characters from favorite books.

According to the nursery, the pumpkins are part of a contest that pushes kids from local elementary schools to one-up each other by producing the best story-related decorated pumpkin.

More than 125 pumpkins were provided to classrooms — pre-K to fifth grade — which then worked together to create the works of art.

“We want to encourage reading, creativity and classroom collaboration with this project,” the nursery said in a release.

The pumpkins on display include characters like J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and his Golden Snitch, the pigeon from Mo Willems’s series, Dr. Seuss’s “The Cat in the Hat” and Jeff Brown’s “Flat Stanley.”

Visitors to Harvest Days will be able to help pick the best pumpkin by voting with pennies. The money collected will go to hurricane relief, and the winning classrooms will snag gift cards for brand-new books.

Lori Falce: 814-235-3910, @LoriFalce

If you go

What: Wheatfield Nursery Harvest Days

When: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Oct. 14

Where: Wheatfield Nursery, 1948 General Potter Highway, Centre Hall

Info: www.wheatfieldnursery.com

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