Photo submissions sought for first annual jack-o-lantern competition

Metro Wire Staff

We’ve missed out on a lot in 2020; family gatherings, sporting events, Riverfront Rendezvous, open houses at local fire departments.

And Trivia. Don’t forget that COVID took away from us the World’s Largest Trivia Contest, too.

But we’re not going to let Halloween escape us. Halloween, which originated as a Celtic superstition to ward off ghosts, acts as a sort of gateway to Thanksgiving and Christmas. Whether you’re the type to don a costume and spook your friends, or you take a more passive approach to the holiday, you can’t deny the importance of the pumpkin this time of year.

The jack-o-lantern, too, hails from Celtic origins, named for a man named Stingy Jack, who, according to the legend, tricked the Devil into buying him a drink at the pub. Angered that he fell for the trick, the Devil banished Jack into the darkness of night, with only a burning piece of coal to light his way. Jack placed his coal into a hollowed-out turnip, the story goes, and now roams the earth known as “Jack of the Lantern,” or, simply “Jack O’Lantern.”

This year, we’re not unlike Jack in that many of us are wandering in the dark: the pandemic has left many in a state of uncertainty or instability.

To help return some sense of normalcy, the Point/Plover Metro Wire is excited to announce its 1st Annual Jack-o-Lantern Contest. Here’s how it works:

There are two categories for two age groups. Photo submissions will be taken for “scariest” and “silliest” in both adult (18 and over) and children (17 and under) age categories. Photos must be high-resolution and in a horizontal orientation.

Email your photos to [email protected] Photos are due no later than 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. Public voting will be held at spmetrowire.com Oct. 10-31.


Public vote will determine the “silliest” and “scariest” jack-o-lantern in adult and children categories. The top prize for each category is a $50 Portage Co. Gift Certificate. Runners-up in each category will be awarded a $25 gift certificate.

All four winners will be announced via Facebook Live at noon on Saturday, Oct. 31.

  • One entry per person.
  • Participants must live inside Portage Co., Wis.
  • Jack-o-lanterns can be made of pumpkins or any other gourd but must be large enough to fit a candle/electronic lighting device inside.
  • Except for a candle/other internal lighting, no accessories or “staging” a scene for your jack-o-lantern. The pumpkin/gourde alone must tell your story (if you have one).
  • This contest is for fun, so no political/social justice messaging can be incorporated into your jack-o-lantern.
  • No vulgarity/obscenities/depictions of violence.
  • Younger participants should work with their parents and another older family member. All participants should use caution when handling a knife or other sharp object.
  • Whenever possible, we encourage you to purchase your pumpkin/gourd from a local farmer or vendor.

We look forward to your submissions. Have fun!