World-Renowned Artist Carves 3rd Annual Carefree Enchanted Pumpkin Garden October 20- 29, 2017

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Town of Carefree Hosts Master Sculptor Ray Villafane, Live Carving Demonstrations and Magical Halloween Festivities

Ray Villafane teaches @jimmykimmel Halloween carving tricks on #jimmykimmellive Lourd of the Gourd

“The Carefree Gardens are the perfect organic environment for creativity and to build a sustainable event for years to come.”- Artist, Ray Villafane

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. The Enchanted Pumpkin Garden will be open to the public and woven throughout the four acre, publicly registered, Carefree Desert Gardens. This free admission, one-of-a-kind fall festival celebrates incredible artistry and enchantment of the Halloween season for all ages, open October 20-29, 2017, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m., 101 Easy Street, Carefree, Arizona.

Voted “Best in the Valley” fall event in 2015 and 2016, and the only pumpkin event garnering attention in Arizona from Food Network Magazine in October, visitors are invited back to stroll and experience the many new mischievous pumpkin characters, artfully imagined and frolicking in their magical Carefree garden home. In addition to the playful pumpkins, Ray and his team will carve ten 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 light. “The Carefree Gardens are the perfect organic environment for creativity and to build a sustainable event for years to come.” says Ray Villafane of Villafane Studios.

One of the most popular photo opportunities is the massive 672 lb. pumpkin on display for visitors to take selfies and family photos. It will be carved by Villafane himself the weekend before Halloween. Villafane’s team of 4 carvers will create new carvings daily throughout the garden and welcome kids to carve with them up-close and personal.

Other special highlights include two special family instructional carving nights with Ray Villafane and the YMCA on October 25 & 26, reservations recommended. There is anticipation of a new costume contest for families and kids along with an adult spooktacular costume contest scheduled on 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 in conjunction with local boutique Bella Donna and Cane, to coordinate a “Trunk or Treat” event along Carefree’s Easy street at 5 p.m. in the downtown area to promote a safe environment for children to trick or treat.

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About Ray Villafane
Based in Arizona, with a workshop and gallery, Ray Villafane is an internationally acclaimed American sculptor who has travelled throughout the globe fashioning exceptional figures and scenes out of pumpkins, sand and snow. Villafane has been called, “The Michelangelo of pumpkin carving,” by Martha Stewart, carved for the President at the White House, and has appeared on numerous national TV programs as well as holding two World Guinness Book of Records. He’s also known for his Food Network’s Pumpkin Challenges, which he won in 2008, 2009, and 2010.

About the Town of Carefree
Carefree is a scenic community of over 3,700 residents nestled in the Sonoran Desert Foothills. Incorporated in 1984, Carefree is regarded as one of the most inspiring and livable places in Arizona and centers its culture on desert lifestyle, architecture, culinary arts, health, wellness and community involvement. For more information VisitCarefree.com or call 480-488-3686.

For more information on the Town of Carefree visit Carefree.org or details on the event visit CarefreePumpkinGarden.com or call 480-488-3686. For more information on Ray Villafane and Villafane studios visit Villafanestudios.com.

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Gina Kaegi

Tracy McCormick
@TownOfCarefree
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