Inside 'Enchanted Garden' Pumpkin Carving - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Inside 'Enchanted Garden' Pumpkin Carving

Courtesy: Herbie Hitchon Courtesy: Herbie Hitchon

(ABC)-- 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.

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!”

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