IT is the vegetable of choice for those looking to cause a Halloween scare but events over the weekend sought to show more sides to the humble pumpkin.

From long and thin to perfectly round, the quintessential autumnal vegetable was carved, mashed, cut up and cooked as it was turned into curry, cake and the occasional ghoulish face at events across the county.

At the Donnington Doorstep Family Centre in Townsend Square, Oxford, visitors took on a range of arty, autumnal crafts and enjoyed live music and a bonfire in the garden.

Children were decked out in their best pumpkin fancy dress and veggie pumpkin curry, cakes and hot drinks were on offer.

Among those attending were Nicola Harris, 29, and her 4-year-old daughter Lottie.

The family, from Cowley, took part in face painting and creating pictures from dried leaves.

Mum Nicola, a student at Oxford Brookes University, said: "Lottie is obsessed with weddings at the moment so she went as a corpse bride in her red gown.

"There was such a nice family-friendly atmosphere, it was a really lovely afternoon."

As Lottie has just celebrated her birthday, a family party was also held in which Ghostbusters (the old one) was watched for the first time.

At the OxGrow community garden in Grandpont, a pumpkin-themed garden party took place with volunteers at the garden sharing a pumpkin feast.

And at Cogges Manor Farm, Witney, a hotly-contested best lantern competition was held whilst guesses were taken on the weight of a 'big-daddy' pumpkin from the walled garden.

Vanessa Thirlwell's daughter Sophie, 8, was runner-up in the carving competition with her take on the resident Cogges cat, Patsy, carved in orange.

The decidedly un-scary creation was named the 'most Coggsey pumpkin'.

Mrs Thirlwell, a 36-year-old nurse from Carterton, said: "We all had a really lovely time.

"It's a place with lots of history that is close by and we're really lucky to be able to visit regularly."

Continuing the pumpkin party was Sandy Lane farm in Tiddington where everyone went well fed at a barbecue and gin was supped from the Oxford Artisan Distillery (TOAD) while the children got on with the serious business of carving faces.