Moriches, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A Long Island elementary school is aiming to break a world record.
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It’s the spookiest time of the year inside Moriches Elementary School, when the classroom turns into a pumpkin bonanza.
Fifth grader Rylie Wigend has been competing in this now 40 year tradition since she was in kindergarten. It’s not just kids who pour their heart and soul into the projects, which feature TV shows like Stranger Things and characters from Moana.
Past alumni even come back as judges.
“I distinctly remember sitting at the kitchen table with my brother, putting it together. It was some nice, quality family time,” said 1997 graduate Rich Kimmerling.
The school’s art teacher, Ms. Linda Tucci, started the competition back in 1978. To her knowledge, it’s the longest running elementary school pumpkin contest in the world.READ MORE: 16-Year-Old Shot In The Bronx
The winners are selected based upon creativity.
She says the contest is priceless because of the bond it built between kids and their families.
“You only have family and time is short, so it’s nice to see generations carrying on this tradition,” Tucci said.
Judges say the biggest difference in the last 40 years is the themes and materials families use to decorate, like LED lights.
“My favorite part is the hair, the glitter. It’s mostly orange,” said student Gabriella Scheifele.
Ms. Tucci plans to submit paperwork to the Guinness Book of World Records to score the official title. But she says seeing the joy the pumpkins bring every year already makes her feel like a winner.
This year’s competition featured about 70 pumpkins.MORE NEWS: 3 Killed, 8 Injured In Shooting At Oxford High School In Michigan
Sixteen judges cast their votes to determine first, second and third place along with honorable mentions.