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Advance Auto Parts to holds pumpkin carving contest

T-L Photo/ROBERT A. DEFRANK The public is welcome to carve a pumpkin and bring it to Advance Auto Parts in Woodsfield by Oct. 29 and to vote on a contest winner.

WOODSFIELD — The Advance Auto Parts store in the village is having a pumpkin carving contest, inviting families to share in the spirit of Halloween fun.

Chris Perine, one of the managers, said this is the store’s first such event.

“This is the first time we’re doing something for Halloween,” he said, adding the business is putting a focus on public involvement. “We’re just trying to reach out to the community.”

Angela Kerce has worked as the general manager since 2018 and took a leave of absence in August 2020.

“We’re going to have people drop off their pumpkins in-store completely carved and ready to display on Oct. 29 at 8 p.m. Woodsfield is doing their trick-or-treating on Oct. 30, and I thought we alway have candy for the kids who happen to stop in on Halloween, so I thought it would be fun to have the pumpkins then. Whoever comes in and wants to vote on Saturday can vote, and we will tally up the results,” Kerce said. “We’re always talking about things we can do in the community. I just came back in the middle of July, and we were talking about community outreach.”

Recently, Perine said the business has offered a helping hand to some local efforts.

“We always support any local organizations that need to raise money. For car washes, we hosted three of those in the last two months and donated the car wash supplies to help them raise money,” he said.

Perine said the pumpkin carving contest offers an opportunity for family fun.

“I remember when I was younger carving pumpkins, and doing it with others and friends is always a great time, so we thought it would be a good way to get families to get back together and do a project together and turn it in to us,” he said. “We have prizes for adults and children.”

Perine said this is an opportunity for both younger children just trying their hand at working on a pumpkin, and for more skilled adults who might produce intricate and detailed carvings.

“That’s what we’re hoping for,” he said.

Kerce said two $10 gift cards to one of the local restaurants will be given to the younger winners, while two adults will receive $25 gift cards, which will either be for in-store purchases or gas cards.

“I’m hoping this can now be a yearly thing,” Perine said.

A variety of ages are welcome. Categories will be kindergarten through fourth grade, fourth grade to 10th grade and 10th grade to adult.

A picture of the winning pumpkin will be made into a poster and hung at the store.

Perine said feedback has been positive and enthusiasm high.

“We did get quite a few phone calls (Wednesday) about what the rules are and what the age groups are, just to get clarification,” he said.

“I’ve spoken to a handful of people and I know my staff has, too.”

“We’re looking at other options for other holidays coming up,” Kerce said. “I spoke with Swiss Hills (Career Center). … We’re going to plan some things with them.

“We try to be the friendliest parts store in town,” she added.

The business is located at 212 Eastern Avenue. For more information, call 740-628-0272.

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