It’s the season of ghouls and frights, and Holiday Park in Rainier has become the site of one spooky tradition, where a host of jackolanterns will light-up the park’s intimate atmosphere in the coming days.
Rainier’s Turner Automotive is hosting its annual Great Rainier Pumpkin Carving Competition until Friday, Oct. 29. The contest opened Monday, Oct. 18, so pumpkins have been available to view since then.
Sheryl Turner, who owns Turner Automotive with her husband, said folks can still register for the contest up until noon on the final day of the competition, though the earlier the registration, the better.
“It finishes at (noon) so that people can come and pick up their pumpkins and take them home and celebrate with them for Halloween,” Turner said. “And then, on the evening of the 29th, winners will be announced.”
She said entrants will design their own pumpkins for consideration in the contest. People can register at Turner Automotive.
“We have a registration where we will give them a number,” Turner said. “And the number will go on the pumpkin and it’ll be set in Holiday Park in the middle of Rainier. The pumpkins will be displayed there. … When people come in and register, they will be placed right then.”
Since the pumpkins are displayed publicly, the contest is something that can be viewed by the community.
And while registration with the competition is preferred, people can simply place their jackolanterns in the park along with those of the rest of the community.
Turner Automotive has been a staple in Rainier since 1998.
“We very much believe in community and we want to create community memories for the kids as they are growing up and just create a great environment,” Turner said. “We have some great people that live in Rainier. We are proud to be in Rainier.”
The business is located in the heart of the small, forested community at 111 Binghampton St.
“We offer general repair,” Turner said. “We offer maintenance. We offer air conditioning services. We do everything with the engine.”
She added the only parts of a vehicle the repair shop doesn't work on are tires.
“We are really lucky,” Turner said. “With our technicians, we have like 100 years of knowledge, collectively. We deal mostly with (model years) ‘85 and up. Although, we can work with the older vehicles.”
Ultimately, the Turners host the competition each year because community is something they value a great deal, she said.
“Community is very important to us,” Turner said. “We need to be there for one another. And we want to support the younger kids all the way through (high school). Our children went to school in Rainier, all the way from kindergarten to high school and graduated. And we just believe in taking care of (our) community.”
The Turners spend a lot of effort each year investing in Rainier, she said, often planting flowers in the city’s planters that are seen throughout town.
“I really want to do things to support our community,” Turner said. “You know, the times are really challenging, so if we can do upbeat things to change the mood, the environment, then we are all in, 100%.”
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