Town of Carefree Hosts Master Sculptor Ray Villafane, live carving demonstrations and magical Halloween festivities
CAREFREE/CAVE CREEK/N. SCOTTSDALE – Halloween spirit invades Carefree for its second year in the form of whimsical pumpkin carvings from master sculptor Ray Villafane. The Enchanted Pumpkin Garden will be open to the public and woven throughout the four acre Carefree Desert Gardens. This free, one-of-a-kind fall event celebrates incredible artistry and enchantment of the Halloween season for all ages and runs October 17-31, 2016, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., 101 Easy Street, Carefree, Arizona.
New in 2016 will be the unveiling of Ray’s life size scarecrows which are constructed mostly of organic materials and hand sculpted. Visitors are invited back to stroll and experience the many new mischievous pumpkin characters, artfully imagined and frolicking in their magical garden home and new Pumpkin Village featuring a general store, saloon and bank. In addition to the playful pumpkins, Ray and his team will carve ten 3D pumpkin faces preserved and displayed in tanks that resemble Saguaro cacti, sculpted and immersed in a pickling solution for preservation and lit by LED lighting. Ray will again, carve multiple “colossal” 400 lb. pumpkins and visitors are welcome to ask questions while kids can carve with him up-close and personal.
Other special weekend events include family carving nights with Ray Villafane and the YMCA, Picasso pumpkin activities for kids, “adopt a pumpkin” form the pumpkin patch, pumpkin bowling, pumpkin pie eating contest, and an ultimate bake-off. Craft beer garden, culinary food trucks and autumnal snacks will be managed by AZFeastivals.com. On Halloween, costumes are encouraged and kids are welcome to trick or treat at various stations throughout the gardens.
Based in Arizona, Ray Villafane is an internationally acclaimed American sculptor who has travelled throughout the globe fashioning exceptional figures and scenes out of pumpkins, sand and snow. Villafane has been called, “The Michelangelo of pumpkin carving,” by Martha Stewart, carving for the President at the White House, and has appeared on numerous national TV programs as well as holding two World Guinness Book of Records. He’s also known for his Food Network’s Pumpkin Challenges, which he won in 2008, 2009, and 2010.