Enchanted Pumpkin Garden Returns To Carefree

Photos courtesy of Villafane Studios

The Halloween spirit will invade the Town of Carefree for its third year in the form of whimsical pumpkin carvings from master sculptor Ray Villafane and the Villafane Studios team (www.villafanestudios.com). The Enchanted Pumpkin Garden will be woven throughout the four-acre Carefree Desert Gardens.

This free admission, one-of-a-kind fall festival celebrates incredible artistry and enchantment of the Halloween season for all ages, and is open October 20-29, 10am–9pm. Visitors are invited to stroll through the garden and experience the many new mischievous pumpkin characters, artfully imagined and frolicking in their magical garden home. In addition to the playful pumpkins, Villafane and his team will carve 10 3-D pumpkin faces preserved and displayed in tanks that resemble Saguaro cacti, sculpted and immersed in a pickling solution for preservation and lit by LED light. One of the most popular photo opportunities is the 400-pound pumpkin, carved by Villafane himself the weekend before Halloween, on display for visitors to take selfies and family photos. Villafane’s team of four carvers will create new carvings daily throughout the garden and welcome children to carve with them up-close and personal. Other special highlights include two family instructional carving nights with Villafane and Desert Foothills YMCA October 25 and 26; reservations are recommended. There is anticipation of a new costume contest for families and kids along with an adult spooktacular costume contest October 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 culinary food trucks and autumnal treats. On Halloween, the Town will work with local boutique Bella Donna and Cane to coordinate a “Trunk or Treat” event along Carefree’s Easy street at 5pm.

For complete event details, visit www.carefreepumpkingarden.com or call 480.488.3686.


Meet The Artist Behind Enchanted Pumpkin Garden


Photo courtesy of Villafane Studios

Carefree’s Enchanted Pumpkin Garden, featuring pumpkin sculptures from world-renowned artist Ray Villafane, will inhabit Carefree Desert Gardens October 16-31, 8am-9pm.

Admission is free.

There will be opportunities to see Villafane, up-close, as he carves whimsical characters and answers questions of how he creates such masterpieces. Dates and times include:

  • Friday, October 16, 10am-6pm (Grand Opening Day)
  • Saturday, October 17, 10am-6pm
  • Sunday, October 18, 10am-6pm
  • Saturday, October 31, 10am-6pm (Halloween)

Appearances by artist and sculptor, Paolo Acuna, Villafane Studios:

  • Saturday, October 24, 10am-6pm
  • Sunday, October 25, 10am-6pm

Additional scheduled events will include Pet Costume Parade, Picasso Pumpkin Kids, Family Carving Nights Desert Foothills Family YMCA fundraiser (October 17 and 28) photo opportunities with “King of Carefree” pumpkin and much more. Get full details on Enchanted Pumpkin Garden events www.carefreepumpkingarden.com.

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