All treats and no tricks at Aiken Regional Medical Centers' annual pumpkin decorating competition

Oct. 27—The annual pumpkin carving and decorating contest at Aiken Regional Medical Centers gave staff members a chance to have fun and unleash their creativity. This year, 16 entries were placed in the hospital's lobby by their anonymous designers.

"I've had the privilege of being able to participate and be a part of it for the last three years," said Human Resources team member Sylvia Williams. "It's employee engagement. It's an opportunity for our employees to show their creative side."

Pumpkins on display ranged from cute to creepy, and included well-known characters like Wednesday Addams, the Big Bad Wolf and the Hocus Pocus witch trio.

Pumpkins were judged Thursday in two categories: decorated pumpkins and carved pumpkins. This year's first-place winner in the decorated pumpkin category went to the ICU department for their Cheshire Cat pumpkin.

The first-place carved pumpkin winner was the Staff Development team's "Living the Dream" display, a hot pink pumpkin creation modeled after the Barbie Dream House.

Williams said that each participating person or group had around 10 days to complete their pumpkin, and that the friendly rivalry between groups can be fierce and secretive.

"They spent a lot of hours and time putting this thing together," she said. "They don't want anyone to know what they're doing."

Williams looks forward to next year's competition and the excitement it brings.

"At the end of the day, it's just a feel-good thing. I wish everybody could do it."