Magical Halloween Event Returns To Carefree Gardens

pumpkinHalloween 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 festival celebrates incredible artistry and enchantment of the Halloween season for all ages and runs October 17-31, 10am-10pm, 101 Easy Street, Carefree.

New in 2016 will be the unveiling of Ray’s life size scarecrows, which are hand crafted mostly of organic materials. Visitors are invited back to stroll and experience the many new mischievous pumpkin characters, artfully imagined and frolicking in their magical garden home. In addition to the playful pumpkins, Ray and his team will carve 10 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 pound pumpkins. Visitors are welcome to ask questions while kids can carve with him up-close and personal.

Other special weekend highlights include family carving nights with Ray Villafane and the Desert Foothills YMCA on October 26 and 27, reservations recommended. New this year, Jelly Belly will invite visitors to take the “Bean Boozled Challenge” and get their picture taken with the Jelly Belly pumpkins. Easy Street Galleria will offer kids crafts along with face painting by a local artist. Adopt a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch, register for the pumpkin pie eating competition and enjoy a local craft beer garden along with culinary food trucks and autumnal treats. On Halloween, costumes are encouraged and kids are welcome to trick or treat at various stations throughout the gardens.

For more information, visit  or, or call 480.488.3686.

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