CAREFREE – Talk about a Great Pumpkin.
Villafane Studios Team prepares to carve a truly great pumpkin as part of live carving demonstrations and magical Halloween Festivities in Carefree.
Weighing in at a whopping 672 pounds and holding a whole world of possibilities in the hands of master pumpkin sculptor Ray Villafane and the Villafane Studios team, a truly colossal fall gourd is set to arrive in the Town of Carefree from Fullerton, CA. Grown in a four-by-30-foot flower bed by John and Kristi Brinkley. Pollinated on June 30 off Brinkley’s seeds, this particularly proud pumpkin will soon take center stage at the third-annual Carefree Enchanted Pumpkin Garden.
It will be transformed into something spectacular (and probably spooktacular) in a mere matter of hours. Anticipated carving date is Oct. 27, just in time for visitors to take photos with the Carefree “colossal” pumpkin during the busiest weekend of the festival.
Dubbed “The Michelangelo of pumpkin carving”, Villafane has carved for the President and holds two Guinness Book World Records. He is well-known for his talents working with sand, snow, and yes, pumpkins. He won the Food Network Pumpkin Challenges in 2008, 2009, and 2010.
The carving will take place within the Carefree Enchanted Pumpkin Garden, which will be open to the public and woven throughout the four-acre Carefree Desert Gardens. This free-admission, one-of-a-kind fall festival celebrates the artistry and enchantment of the Halloween season for all ages and is open Oct. 20-29, 2017, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. at 101 Easy Street, Carefree, Arizona.
Voted “Best in the Valley” by Phoenix Magazine in 2015 and 2016, visitors are invited back to stroll and experience the many new mischievous pumpkin characters, artfully imagined and frolicking in their magical Carefree garden home. In addition to the playful pumpkins, Ray and his team have carved 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 lights. Villafane’s team of four artists will create new carvings daily throughout the garden and welcome kids to carve with them up-close and personal.
Other special highlights of this unique, fun fall event include two special family instructional carving nights with Villafane and the YMCA on Oct. 25 and 26 (reservations recommended). There is the anticipation of a new costume contest for families and kids along with an adult spooktacular costume contest scheduled for Oct. 28. Other popular activities include the “Adopt a Pumpkin” patch, pumpkin pie eating competition, corn maze, face painting, arts and crafts, a new harvest market, and a local craft beer garden featuring Four Peaks – along with an array of culinary food trucks and autumnal treats. On Halloween itself, the Town will work in conjunction with local boutique Bella Donna and Cane to coordinate a “Trunk or Treat” event along Carefree’s Easy street at 5 p.m. in the downtown area. Children are invited to come trick-or-treat in a safe, colorful, and fun downtown Carefree environment.