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SAGINAW (CBS11) — It’s not because of the candy they hand out but because of a tradition they’ve carved out for 25 years that has made the Hawkins’ home on Willowview Drive the most popular stop in Saginaw on Halloween night.
“We started with one, the next year we had about four, and then it just grew,” explained Vickie Hawkins, as she looked out on her front yard filled with 56 detailed carved pumpkins.
From ghosts to the cast of the movie “Ghostbusters,” the Hawkins family spent nearly hundreds of hours this week gutting and carving dozens of pumpkins.
For those who come yearly to see the holiday display, the Hawkins are simply known as “The Pumpkin People.”
The tradition all started more than two decades ago with two sisters, Vickie and Toni Hawkins. Every year the two, who were living in different cities at the time, would spend the week before Halloween together.
One year they decided to carve an image of Dracula in a pumpkin, and it took off from there. The sisters came up with new designs each year and carved more and more pumpkins.
Vickie Hawkins said she often thinks back on the early days of this Halloween tradition.
In 2006, her sister, Toni, died from cancer.
“We were very close,” Vickie said. “We were closer than sisters. This is a real connection to her memory.”
However, instead of letting the tradition fade, as in-laws and grandchildren were added to the family the tradition grew.
“I want to help them honor that memory,” Brandi Korte, who married into the family, said, “but also when I came into this I was like, we could do more than this. Let’s really do this.”
Next year Korte said they hope to have 60 pumpkins.
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