Free pumpkin-carving event offered at Roots

Those who are looking for some good old-fashioned Halloween fun prior to Wednesday night may want to visit Roots Landscaping and Garden Center in Selbyville this Saturday to take part in a free pumpkin-carving event.

Coastal Point • Submitted  : These pumpkins were carved at Roots Landscaping’s free pumpkin-carving event, held every year for the last eight years.Coastal Point • Submitted
These pumpkins were carved at Roots Landscaping’s free pumpkin-carving event, held every year for the last eight years.

“I guess we started it because of all the hype on the unique carvings that you can come up with for pumpkins,” said Catherine Winkler, who owns Roots with her husband, Bill. “They have it on Food Network every year. Plus, I kept finding all these unique pumpkins and some very interesting tricks and tips on how to carve them.”

Now in its eighth year, the free carving class will take place on Oct. 27, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“You can drop in anytime, and you can bring your own pumpkin or you can purchase one here at a discounted price,” said Winkler, adding that the class ties into the business’s pumpkin sale. “It’s nice to add some pumpkins, along with our mums and pansies, in order to get the full fall decorating theme going.”

Those who attend the free carving event will also be able to stock up on various pumpkins, assorted gourds, cabbage, kale, grasses and hay bales.

Winkler said the class is open to people of all skill levels and ages, with the requirement that younger children must be supervised by an adult.

“We have a couple of different templates you can use if you wish, or you can freehand your design and go from there. You can really get intricate with that… We even have Dremel tools for people that are a little more advanced. We also scrape pumpkins, so it’s not a full cut-out but more of an illumination of the pumpkin,” said Winker.

“It’s for all ages,” she emphasized. “You don’t actually have to come and carve a pumpkin. For some of the younger kids, we have stickers, pipe cleaners, paint and glitter to put on the pumpkins.”

Winkler said that, depending on the intricacy of the design, a pumpkin carving can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half to complete.

“We provide plenty of seating and table space and, also, all tools that you need. You can leave your mess with us, and you don’t have your whole ordeal about it,” she said, adding that the pumpkin innards will be put to good use. “We usually just compost them, but we also have a good bit of participants bag up seeds and take them home to toast them.”

Along with carving tools and tips, Winkler said Roots would be offering up tips to help preserve the finished creations.

“There’s five days between the event and Halloween. So, along with our carving tips, we do offer tips to extend the life of your jack-o-lantern.”

Winkler added that she and her family are lovers of the holiday and hope other members in the community will join in the fun.

“We’ve always been big celebrators of Halloween, so the jack-o-lanterns just tie into that. I hope we get a good turn out.”

Roots Landscaping and Garden Center is located at 36226 Dupont Boulevard (Route 113), north of Selbyville. For more information, call (302) 732-0866 or visit