The City of Carefree has gone all out for a second year in a row, with their Enchanted Pumpkin Garden located in the Carefree Desert Botanical Gardens. They commissioned artist and sculptor, Ray Villafane, recognized worldwide for his gigantic sand carvings and, you guessed it, his one-of-a-kind pumpkin carvings.
Ray was born in Queens, New York but has called the world his home for the last 10 years as he revealed his natural artistic talents in places like Russia’s Red Square, Bermuda’s Sousa Gardens and even in D.C. in the President’s quarters in the White House.
You’ve probably seen him on Jimmy Kimmel’s Lord of the Gourd and the Food Network show among other venues. His rare pumpkin carving talent was discovered and he was sought out by High Noon Entertainment and asked to participate in the Food Network’s Challenge Show where he logged the highest ratings of any challenge and took home both the prize for the 2008 and the 2010 re-Challenge.
Here in Arizona at the Enchanted Pumpkin Garden you won’t find one traditional carved pumpkin. However, you will walk through gardens of unique works of art made from outrageous and oddly shaped pumpkins and their stems to create whimsical characters that come alive after dark.
To enjoy the magic of the show you’ll head 8 miles north of Scottsdale to the charming Town of Carefree where you can stroll the 3-acre exhibit any day of the week from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. There are daily activities planned starting on October 17th and running through October 31st, but the real fun takes place on the weekends!
You won’t want to miss the photo op with the 400 pound pumpkin, live pumpkin carving contests, Picasso arts and crafts for the kids and the jack-o-lantern beer garden for the adults! There will be hayrides, pumpkin pie eating competitions, and of course costumes galore on Halloween.
Admission is free and it’s a spooktacular extravaganza for the entire family.