-- Nothing says Halloween like an impressively carved pumpkin.
Master sculptor Ray Villafane, a self-proclaimed “pioneer of Halloween,” along with his team of carvers worked tirelessly to create the 2nd annual “Enchanted Pumpkin Garden” in Carefree, Arizona.
“We have a large 420-pound pumpkin and a little over 25 real pumpkins that are sculpted and thrown into a story telling vignette,” a spokesperson for Villafane told ABC News. “The rest, approximately 75, are funkins (artificial pumpkins) that we use to pose in various scenes and tell a story. The funkins are important because they withstand the heat and we don’t have to worry about desert animals getting into them!”
The enchanted exhibit rotates throughout a two-week period as Villafane and his team carve new additions for the garden almost daily. But there is a secret to keeping all the pumpkins fresh: “Spray them with a solution of part white vinegar and water,” his team revealed.
While winding through the orange-laden fall festival, visitors will find pumpkins with familiar, famous faces, such as Muhummad Ali. There are mischievous characters frolicking through the magical garden and a set of pumpkins playing a hilarious game of “BeanBoozled” with Jelly Bellys because even pumpkins love Halloween candy.
The artists also carved 10 3D frightful pumpkin faces which are immersed in a pickling solution for preservation and illuminated by LEDs.
One of Villafane’s right-hand men, Nikolay Torkhov, even sculpted an entire horse for this year’s exhibit, as well as the pumpkin seen in the mesmerizing time-lapse video.
The artists hope people enjoy their charismatic pumpkin carvings.
“You don’t have to be an artist to carve a good pumpkin,” said Villafane. “Halloween is all about fun. If you want to carve a pumpkin don’t overthink the carving process just dig in and enjoy it! What’s the worst thing that can happen? You simply start over!”