What do you carve on a 388 pound pumpkin for a the greatest pizza place in Ogden during a zombie walk? The answer, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. This pumpkin was the perfect shape to make it work. Really, the carving was pretty easy. It was super fun to be in front of a ton of people dressed as zombies for the Ogden Zombie Crawl. Lucky slice invited me out to carve for the large crowd and it went super well.
Luckily an actual Ninja Turtle stopped by to see how I was doing.
Soon after the little turtle came by, the lady turtles stopped by. It was a good night to be a turtle in Ogden.
Anyway, it was a good night
Saturday was a very busy day. I carved two giants in one day. I have never done anything like that before.
The first was for Station Park. I had a 734 pound pumpkin that was grown by a man named Ralph in Vernal. He delivered the pumpkin to the mall and was surrounded by people taking pictures of it in his truck when he finally stopped. He said that the drive was kind of hard getting there. Not because the pumpkin was heavy, but because people kept pulling up to take pictures on the freeway and he couldn’t change lanes.
Anyway, I started carving 5:30 in the morning and didn’t finish until 3:30 in the afternoon. The pumpkin turned out a little differently than any of my others I’ve done before. It wasn’t easily understandable from one angle. I used the top of the pumpkin and you had to walk around to understand it more fully.
I carved a dragon in a similar set-up last year. But that just wet my apatite to carve a bigger, better one this year.
May I just start by saying that The Utah Giant Pumpkin Growers are pretty bad ass. Their organization is very well ran. Today my little family and I went down to Thanksgiving Point to enjoy the weigh off. I like to go just to enjoy the show, but I also have a couple festivals coming up that I needed a couple giant pumpkins for. I already have one secured that is in the 800 pound range. I have another one that I was able to line up today that is 388 pounds. It’s going to be a fun year.
Here are my girls at the event. I love them.
I wanted to carve a pumpkin to bring for the weigh off, but I was unable to save time to do it last night, so I figured I’d bring my kit and carve at the show. Fortunately, I met another carver there who let me sit at his table and carve. His name is Aaron Reimschiissel and this is the pumpkin that he carved.
He’s a really cool guy. He is part of the Parade of Pumpkins that is coming up next month. So if you happen to be in the Pleasant Grove, Utah area, you should check this out.
This is a picture of us have a rad time carving.
There were no new records set at the weigh off, but there was a documentary being filmed. Upon speaking with one of the crew members about it, she hopes it will end up on PBS in the near future. Who knows.
All in all, it was a really great day for pumpkins in Utah.
As you may have noticed, summer is coming to an end. School is starting soon or has started for some. The air is getting cooler at night and I get giddy driving past patches of orange orbs on the side of the road. This year is going to be great. So, to get things going, I actually have a couple carvings I did last year to post.
My dad grew another pumpkin last year that was in the neighborhood of 300 pounds. Not bad for a rookie. So I carved it on Halloween day into a dragon.
Also, Gangnam Style was kind of a big deal on the internet. In case you don’t remember it, It’s that one song by Psy that is the embodiment of everything that is great about South Korea.
Anyway, it was a blast last year and I am definitely looking forward to this year!
I have been looking for contests for a while that I could actually go to instead of just submit a picture online for a few years now. Well, I’m pretty sure they don’t exist.
That is why I decided that I should host one myself.
A wonderful godsend of a woman, named Carolyn Brierly hosts the event for Ogden City and she was very excited when I suggested that we should have a contest.
Plans got underway. I posted a ton of flyers that look like this:
I also contacted a few awesome businesses for sponsors. Lucky Slice Pizza, Sonora Grill, Olive and Dahlia, Bistro 258, Rovali’s (I accidentally spelled their name wrong on the flyer) and Roosters all gave the prizes. Cedar Crest Farm managed the pumpkins and Interstate Barricades donated knives and signage. It was set to be quite the event. I even invited Ed and Kristen Bogue of www.pumpkin page.com to come help judge the event.
The morning started pretty quickly. I had to set up the tables and get the pumpkins and my beautiful wife joined me as we scrambled around trying to get the whole thing ready. A couple contestants showed up a little early to get things going on a good foot.
As the festival started to get going, a couple more people showed up to compete and by the end we had eleven contestants vying for first place and the competition was pretty fierce.
It was pretty sweet.
We invited the crowd to vote for their favorite and at the end we awarded the contestants. The ranks went as follows:
- Carlos Arajao – Dragon
- $50 to Olive & Dahlia
- $25 to Sonora Grill
- Bob Adams – Donkey
- $50 to Bistro 258
- Brad Eaves – Face
- $25 to Roosters
- $10 to Lucky Slice Pizza
- Carlos Arajao – Dragon
- $25 Sonora Grill
- $25 Roosters
- Josh Spencer – Monster
- $10 Lucky Slice
- Bonnie Winward – Jack Skelington
- $10 Lucky Slice
- Candice Smith – E.T.
- $10 Lucky Slice
- Racheal Spencer – Dragon
- $10 Lucky Slice
The Whole day was awesome and I’m glad we were able to have some great people come out and have fun. Thanks to www.pumpkinpage.com for joining the effort.
So I was at work and I get an email from a guy who works for a knife distributing company. This time of year I get a lot of emails from people interested in having me do some work for them, but this was a little different. He said he was with Blade HQ and that he makes youtube videos for the knives they sell and that he wanted to make a video of me. Well shucks.
In exchange for a bad-A knife that I get to choose, I get to carve a pumpkin with it while he makes a video. How could I turn such an offer down? Well, my schedule is super packed, because I work 40 hours a week, go to school full time, have a family and a million other things. Fortunately my Thursday night class canceled ahead of time and I was able to set this up for then.
From Monday to that Thursday, I was scrambling over what I should carve. We figured that we wanted something manly and since I had already carved a Chuck Norris pumpkin, that was out. Maybe Rambo? Not quite. We knew we wanted something with a knife and bursting with testosterone. Then it hit me. A dude fighting a bear with a knife. That is pure manly, awesomeness at it’s finest.
I genuinely enjoy carving in front of people. It’s very fun to hear people comment about my work. I used to carve mainly at my house and the pumpkin would just die pretty quickly and that would be the end of it. But when I work out on the street or in the public in general, it’s much more fun.
Well, Thursday arrived and we didn’t have a place to carve. I had tried contacting a few places, but there were a few issues. Fortunately, there is a pizza place in downtown Ogden that has tons of foot traffic and a great atmosphere for this kind of thing in general. Not to mention awesome sauce pizza and wing. It’s called The Lucky Slice and when I called asking for it to be the venue, they were stoked about it.
So, my wife and I show up and unload the big old pumpkin I brought and the show begins. I don’t know what it is about giant pumpkins, but people go bananas for them. My dad grew this particular pumpkin and it was a little of 200 pounds. Maybe it’s because they just don’t expect to see such a big pumpkin. It is pretty unusual, even though this one wasn’t anywhere near the biggest. The word record pumpkin was grown this year and weighed 10 times as much as this one. It was 2009 pounds.
The pumpkin is out and in place and I get my sexy new knife. I searched for hours to pick out the one I wanted. I didn’t want any moving parts. I wanted the only one side to be sharp. I wanted it to be super light and have a short blade. Those things add up to be a perfect carving knife. Well, this hit the ball out of the park. I don’t think there is a better knife on the planet for pumpkin carving. It’s a Benchmade Prestigedges paring knife. Man, oh man, it cuts through the pumpkin like butter. The knife I used before was a paring knife from Cutco, but this blows it out of the water. It’s so light and sharp, it’s perfect. Here’s a picture of me using it.
With my new knife in hand, I set out to carve this manly beast. The camera was dancing around me as I worked and people were stopping by to see the action. It was pretty awesome. As it got dark out, some lights were put up and the awesome camera man was on top of everything. He was a gentleman in all regards.
After six hours of carving, this was the result.
Blade HQ was fantastic to work with. It was a blast carving this for them. Here is a video of the process.
I love this time of year. My wife and I have made it a tradition to go to the Utah Giant Pumpkin Growers annual weigh-off down at Thanksgiving Point. This year we had an addition to the family. I am the proud daddy of a darling little daughter. She enjoyed the weigh-off too.
The growers are insane. I don’t know how they can put that much effort into growing the giants, but they do, and it’s awesome. This year was a pretty harsh growing season, but there was still a good turn out of giants. Last year the state record was set at 1600 pounds. This year the winner grew a 1454 pounder. Sure, it’s not a new record, but it’s a freaking monster. It’s hard to really imagine how big a 1400 pound pumpkin looks like without seeing it.
Also, my dad grew a nice pumpkin for me to carve later this year. I’m sure I’ll make a post out of it when it happens.
I carved the face of Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation for the event too, it’ was kinda fun.
I’m still working on this whole 3D thing. I enjoy it, I just need to practice it more.
Anyway, ’twas a fun day seeing some crazy big pumpkins.