In May of 2015, the Town Marketing Director, Gina Kaegi, was looking to hire a pumpkin carver to enhance a new fall festival for the Town. What she ended up discovering from her search was so much more. Ray Villafane was different than most carvers, he didn’t care about contracts and commissions like most artists. He was more interested in scouting the Town first.
Once he arrived, he fell in love with the Carefree Desert Gardens and his imagination started to run wild with ideas. He had been thinking about possibly finding a place in Arizona and be close with his kids for the first time in 10 years instead of traveling all over the world.
The Gardens were being seen as a perfect organic environment for creativity and the potential to build a sustainable exhibit for families and children. In less than 2 weeks, the Mayor and Council decided that Ray was a perfect fit not only because of his artistic talent but the appealing notion of a sustainable attraction that could build on itself over time. Carefree’s Enchanted Pumpkin Garden was born.
The Town is honored to have been chosen by Ray to make his artistic dreams a reality in the Carefree Desert Gardens and to help share this one-of-a-kind exhibit with the residents, the state of Arizona and the world. The Arizona Office of Tourism has quickly picked up on Ray and his ambitions for the Carefree Enchanted Pumpkin Garden and offered him a blog and will be highlighting the event on their website to promote to out of state visitors.
Ray envisions a book, gallery and many more additions to the Gardens for years to come and hopes you share in our excitement. 2016 will be our event’s second year and we hope you make it a tradition in your family to come enjoy for years to come!
To learn more about Ray, visit his website by clicking here.