The Pumpkin People of Petawawa on display ahead of Halloween


Petawawa’s Fall Ramble weekend kicked off on Friday with awards given out to the town’s best pumpkin folk displays.

In its fourth year now, the weekend event celebrates autumn in Petawawa and encourages residents and businesses to put together creative displays of pumpkins as people.

Brenda and Bruce Gilles’ animatronic pumpkin people display took home first place this year.

“So we wanted the farmer and his wife dancing, the young boy playing the fiddle, the chicken playing the piano, and the cow nodding it’s head and he gives it a little boot to get the farmer and his wife dancing,” said Brenda, describing the couple’s display.

“I think every year (participants) step up their game with the electronics and animatronics,” said Cindy Sell, a member of the Petawawa Business Advisory Network, which puts on the contest.

“It’s pretty impressive.”

The Gilles’ pumpkin people display also plays music on demand. When people come to view their display at 781 Murphy Rd., they are asking visitors to take a selfie with the display and email it to them, which will turn into one donation to the local food bank.

“We won a prize of $150 here for best residential display,” said Bruce. “We’d like to spend that on food for the food bank.”

This Halloween, Petawawa is also promoting accessible trick or treating. In conjunction with the town, the local Re/Max agency is passing out lawn signs for residents to advertise their homes as accessible locations for children with mobility, sensory, or intellectual disabilities to trick or treat at.

Sell suggests residents set up trick or treating stations on their driveways or in their garages.

“We’re going to put a map up available so anyone that’s looking for that, they’ll know where you are and they can reach out to you on Halloween,” said Sell.

Sandy McCauley’s pumpkin display was awarded third place this year, which consisted of a witch spooking small pumpkin people.

She says the Ramble is one of Petawawa’s favourite times of the year, with many residents decorating well in advance of Halloween and businesses putting on events.

“I think we have a lot of people here that work into the Halloween spirit,” McCauley says, “and it’s probably one part that makes me feel at home here.”

The Petawawa Ramble is on until Sunday.

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