AEPhi at Syracuse takes pumpkin decorating to the next level

Who knew the mumps could be this adorable?

Yesterday, Alpha Epsilon Phi at Syracuse University hosted their annual extravagant pumpkin decorating contest. House chef Mary has been organizing the event for the past 14 years, and it never disappoints.

"We had the most participation this year of any years in the past," said AEPhi senior Lindsay Brandes.

The sisters create lavish pumpkins in groups of two or three, and this year there were 12 submissions. Mary supplies the girls with the pumpkins, paint brushes and paint, but beyond that the girls are responsible for purchasing additional materials.

Five winners are chosen each year for first, second, third, fourth and honorable mention. The winning prize is a whopping $100 which went straight into Brandes' pocket.

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AEPhi's house mom, Casey, who works at SUNY ESF, has one of her coworkers judge the contest. On the day of the competition, Brandes said all the girls are invited to the house with Mary's grandkids to eat donuts and sip on cider.

Samantha Bernstein and Hannah Geldzahler came in second place for their "Everything Bagel."

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"Winnie the Pooh" came in third, by Ashley Tucker and Alix Cowan.

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Bari Margolis and Lindsay Dick won fourth place for "The Mumpkin," making light of the recent outbreak of mumps on campus.

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"My pumpkin partner and I were so excited for the contest but realized we are not the most crafty students in AEPhi so our best bet was to win with a cool idea!" said Bari Margolis. "If we could get a laugh out of the judges we knew we had a shot, so what better way to do that than with the current mumps trend plaguing 'cuse?"

Honorable mention went to Alyssa Berman, Alison Ebert, Maddy hale and Jordan Schlesinger for their "Finding Nemo" creation.

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Below are the pumpkins that didn't win any prizes, but were still killer!

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Mary loves putting on the contest for the girls and enjoys the fact that her grandkids get to come out and see the pumpkins while everyone gets to enjoy some cider and donuts.

"Each year the pumpkins get better and better," Mary said.

Syracuse University