There’s pumpkin goo on my purse, my shoe, and who knows where else (oh, wait: definitely on my notebook). That’s because last night, true to my word, I gathered The Creative Director and my friend Jenny (The Berg) and headed over to Sheffield’s 25th Annual Pumpkin Carving.
It was what I like to call a GOT (grand old time). The minute we walked in the door, I spotted a man who exuded such hostlike vibes I knew he could only be Ric Hess, the owner of the Lake View bar, beer garden, and barbecue joint. I tapped him on the shoulder—or, rather, grabbed his T-shirt sleeve—as he maneuvered his way through the crowd, taking pictures of patrons and pumpkins.
“Hi, Ric! It’s me! The Chaser!” I said. We had e-mailed a few times earlier in the day, and Hess had promised to save me a pumpkin (Sheffield’s supplied all the gourds, but I was worried I might arrive after the choicest goods had been picked over).
Hess was enthused we were there—but, really, he was equally enthused about everyone who was there. “It’s the best night of the year!” he said. “We’ve got a bunch of innocent vegetables, we’ve got pumpkin beer, we’ve got the game on. What more could you want?”
Nothing, to tell you the truth. It did take some angling to score a table—this was a very popular event, after all, and there were people slicing and scooping on every available surface—but once we did, the carnage began.
With newspapers spread in front of us and a goo bucket plunked down nearby, we began sawing away at our “innocent vegetables,” which, incidentally, are fruit—and rather thick-skinned at that. When one of the dinky blades snapped in half off the bat, I went in search of a serious knife—you know, something dangerous from the kitchen. I found Hess in the bar’s back room, beaming over a group of carvers who had used three pumpkins to spell out what I recognized as part of his e-mail address: “Beers 2 U.” “Here, take a picture,” he said, handing me his camera.
Back at the table, our big knife drew plenty of jealous looks. Honestly, the whole combination of jagged blades and endless beer did worry me a bit (I’m guessing that’s why Hess supplied low-risk tools to begin with). But The Creative Director completed his arched-brow masterpiece, and The Berg and I finished our Home is Where the Heart Is–themed jack-o-lantern without mishap.
The verdict: Make plans now for Sheffield’s 26th Annual Pumpkin Carving in 2011. And if you missed last night’s fun, stop by the bar this weekend to witness the glowing results of our Halloween artistry.