You gotta love when you find a way to make something positive out of a tough situation. That’s what the community of DeRidder, Louisiana is doing. DeRidder, like many cities in the state, is trying to recover after getting hit by two back-to-back hurricanes this season. DeRidder is a small city in Beauregard Parish that is known for its beautiful trees. Those beautiful trees come with a cost when a hurricane hits. Hurricane Laura brought much devastation at the end of August including knocking down so many of those beautiful pine trees leaving only stumps. The community decided to turn lemons into lemonade and use the stumps and debris into Halloween decorations. Isn’t that BOOtiful and such a great lesson for the parents to teach their children.

City of DeRidder - City Hall Facebook

Families were busy for weeks as they cleaned their yards. As trees and limbs were removed and stacked in a huge pile on the side of the road for the debris pickup to haul away, someone had a bright idea with Halloween around the corner.

According to Beauregard Daily News, DeRidder officials started to brainstorm ways they could make something positive out of the situation. Apparently, the town celebrates Halloween every year with festivities. They wanted to find a way to give the community a little bit of normalcy after the storm destruction, but also provide a COVID-safe environment.

City of DeRidder - City Hall Facebook

DeRidder’s Director of Community Service, Ashley Craddock, was looking for creative activities to do with her family when she came across “stumpkins”. Stumpkins are tree stumps, trunks, or limbs that are painted and decorated for Halloween. Craddock immediately saw that as a community event. What a great way to get everyone to involved in a positive way by transforming the debris into something happier. I have to say, this is brilliant. You are using a natural item to show your Halloween spirit, making your town look festive and positive, and building each other up. Mayor Misty Clanton was on board and that is when the stumpkin project took off.

2020 has dealt us all a very unfair hand. To add two hurricanes on top of a very difficult year truly devastated our community. Adults and children alike needed to be reminded that joy can come from even the most broken of things. Our community has lost so much. But, we are committed to finding the silver lining.  – Mayor Clanton

They even up’ed the whole thing with a 2020 Stumpkin Contest on a Facebook page. The community can ‘like’ their favorite Stumpkin and the photos with the most ‘likes’ by October 30th wins cash prizes. You can vote by clicking here.

City of DeRidder - City Hall Facebook

The stumpkins have blown me away with so much creativity and talent.  You’ll see everything from  jack-o-lanters, witches, and ghosts to animals, unicorns, and bats.

I love this idea. DeRidder, you are SPOOKtacular.