Annual Somethin’ Pumpkin Cooking Contest

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Image of the 5th Somethin' Pumpkin Cooking Contest and Festival

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Dallas Park – Dallas, NC

Over the past several years, Somethin’ Pumpkin has become a family-centered event which carries on not only the skill of cooking, but also the enjoyment of preparing food with family and friends. This year we’re excited to be partnering with the N.C. Cooperative Extension of Cleveland and Lincoln Counties to expand the event.

Image of 2019 Grand Prize Winner - Cassandra Evans

Grand Prize Winner 2018 – Cassandra Evans
Recipe: Stuffed Pork with Pumpkin & Blue Cheese

Somethin’ Pumpkin is a cooking contest, pumpkin decorating contest, and festival designed by N.C. Cooperative Extension as part of Cotton Ginning Days held in Gaston County. From growing and cooking with pumpkin, activities encourage families to connect with local agriculture, as well as community resources.

Pumpkin Cooking Contest 

  1. Main Dish– soups, salads, sandwiches, casseroles
  2. Desserts* – cakes, breads, cookies, pastries, & tarts
  3. Miscellaneous* – beverages, appetizers, low-calorie, etc.
  4. Home Grown -all ages & all entries made with your own home-grown pumpkin
  5. Youth (ages 8 – 12) -main dish & miscellaneous
  6. Youth (ages 8 – 12) -desserts
  7. Youth (ages 13 – 18) -main dish & miscellaneous
  8. Youth (ages 13 – 18) -desserts

*Adult only (ages 19 and older) categories.

Entries are judged and displayed as part of Cotton Ginning Days. Cash prizes are awarded for first, second, and third place in each category, as well as a grand prize winner. Full contest details are listed below:

2017 Somethin' Pumpkin decorated pumpkin entries

Somethin’ Pumpkin Decorating Contest Entries

Pumpkin Decorating Contest

The Gaston County Public Library’s Pumpkin Decorating Contest is for children in grades K-5 and is an extension of the 5th Annual Somethin’ Pumpkin Cooking Contest & Festival. Here’s how it works…

  1. Pick up a pumpkin at any of the participating library locations between September 19–23.
  2. Decorate the pumpkin using any kind of materials to portray a theme/character from any Maurice Sendak book… such as Where the Wild Things Are. NO CARVING ALLOWED.
  3. Fill out the attached form and return it, along with pumpkin entry, to a participating branch library location Monday, September 30 through Thursday, October 3.
  4. Pumpkins will be officially judged and winners announced on Saturday, October 12 during the Somethin’ Pumpkin Cooking Contest & Festival (inside the Citizens Resources Center, Dallas) from 12:30 p.m.–1 p.m. There will be a winner in each of these three categories: Grades K – 2, Grades 3 – 5, and Family.
  5. Library patrons will be able to vote for the “People’s Choice” winner the week of October 14–18 at the library. The “People’s Choice” winner at each library location will be announced on Monday, October 21.

Want to participate? If so, contact a participating branch library and complete the registration form below:

2019 Somethin' Pumpkin Partners & Sponsors

2019 Somethin’ Pumpkin Partners & Sponsors


Congratulations to all participants of the 2018 Cooking Contest! With over 50 IMPRESSIVE pumpkin dishes, our judges had a very difficult time in selecting winners…but enjoyed every bite!

See our full photo album on Facebook:  @GastonExtensionHealthyLiving

Somethin’ Pumpkin 2018 Recipe Collection

2018 Contest Winners
Overall Grand Prize Winner: Cassandra Evans – Stuffed Pork with Pumpkin & Blue CheeseDessert Category:

  • 1st place:  Betty Jones – Mini Ginger-Pumpkin Cheesecakes
  • 2nd place:  Lucinda Thornburg – Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake
  • 3rd place:  Cassandra Evans – Pumpkin Cake Cheesecake with Pecan Caramel Drizzle

Main Dish:

  • 1st place:  Aaron Hines – Pumpkin Ravioli with Brown-Butter & Sage Sauce
  • 2nd place:  Debra Clancy – Harvest Pumpkin Tacos with Lime Crema
  • 3rd place:  Janet Bowen – Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

Miscellaneous :

  • 1st place:  Audrey Hunt – Slow Cooker Pumpkin Butter
  • 2nd place:  Don Keller – Pumpkin Poppers with BBQ Sauce
  • 3rd place:  Cassandra Evans – Fall Pumpkin “Fatbread”


  • 1st place:  Sarah Scism – Pumpkin Casserole
  • 2nd place: Adrienne Jones – Pumpkin Caramel Swirled Cheesecake
  • 3rd place: Addison Brown – Pumpkin Cheesecake Sundaes

Youth:  Ages 8 – 12:

  • 1st place:  Payton Lenox – Pumpkin Cake with Maple Pecan Frosting
  • 2nd place:   Alaina Renn – Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
  • 3rd place:  Rylee Crocker – Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Youth:  Ages 13-18:

  • 1st place:  Caroline Ivester – Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
  • 2nd place:  Faith Waelz – Low Carb Pumpkin Mousse
  • 3rd place:  East Gaston High School Food & Nutrition II Students – Group #4:  Kourtney Beatty, Marissa Beatty, Brittany Hudspeth, Sierra Lineberger, Austin McLeroy, Steven Silva, and Logan Singleton – Pumpkin Brownies


Photo of Linda Minges, N.C. Cooperative Extension

Linda MingesExtension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences

N.C. Cooperative Extension, Gaston County Center