• 2018 Event Highlights

    Check back as we are adding more in the coming months!

This Year’s Highlighted Events

Halloween fun October 19- 28, 2018

Live! Pumpkin Carving

Meet and greet world-renowned carver and artist, Ray Villafane and his team of professionals as they carve whimsical characters and answer your questions about how they create global masterpieces! Children are welcome to participate and have the opportunity to try carving with the pros! This is a special once-in-a life-time experience for all ages!

Appearances by world renowned Villafane Studios Team Carvers schedule:

  • Monday – Thursday: 11 am – 4 pm
  • Fridays: 11 am – 7 pm
  • Saturdays: 11 am – 7 pm
  • Saturday, Oct. 27: 11 am – 7 pm: Ray Villafane appearance
  • Sundays: 11 am – 7 pm
  • Sunday, Oct 28: 11 am – 7 pm: Ray Villafane appearance

3D Pumpkin Carvings

Skillfully positioned around the beautiful Carefree Desert Gardens, Ray Villafane and his team will have sculpted saguaro cacti displays to blend in with the environment.

Every 3D carving is “pickled” in a special solution to aid in the preservation process. Each carving will look like new for up to a year! This is a must see attraction, especially after the sun goes down!

Pumpkin Vignettes

Stroll the 4 acres of the Carefree Desert Gardens and spot the humorous Carefree pumpkins frolicking in action and working in their Carefree Pumpkin Town. They prefer to relax in their hammocks among Saguaro cacti, climb their Carefree Sundial, run and hide from their nemesis herd of local Carefree Javelina, and much more!

How many Carefree Pumpkins can you find working and playing in the Gardens?

672 pound pumpkin

Colossal Pumpkin Photo Opportunity

Last year we carved a 672 lb. pumpkin, one of the largest pumpkins ever! That colossal pumpkin was grown in Fullerton, California by John and Kristi Brinkley and took center stage at our event! Check back as we are working on sourcing this year’s colossal pumpkin which will be carved Friday, October 26th starting at noon.

Have questions? Call the Town of Carefree today at 480.488.3686 or send us an email.

Scarecrows

These one-of-a-kind, life-size Scarecrows imagined and created by Ray Villafane and his team of artists are made exclusively each year for the Town of Carefree’s Enchanted Pumpkin Garden.

Hand crafted with dried twigs, shrubs and old tree materials from the desert, each scarecrow is an original and no two are the same. As Ray and his team work through the creative process, each Scarecrow gradually develops a personality and has their own story to tell visitors in the Enchanted Pumpkin Garden.

Be amazed and come see our whimsical Scarecrows this fall in the Carefree Desert Gardens.

Jack O’ Lantern Beer Garden

Stop by the Jack O’ Lantern Beer Garden featuring local and popular brews 10:00 am – 9:00 pm, on Fridays through Sundays. Beer Garden volunteers provided by Sonoran Arts League. Last year we offered:

  • Four Peaks Pumpkin Porter
  • Four Peaks SunBru
  • Four Peaks Kilt Lifter
  • Four Peaks Hop Knot IPA
  • Mudshark Peaceful Pumpkin
  • Mudshark Full Moon
  • Mudshark Desert Magic
  • Budweiser
  • Michelob Ultra

Enjoy live music by Homestretch on Fridays and Saturdays from 5:00 – 7:00 pm.

Not a beer drinker? We’ll also be offering a selection of red and white wine, plus we’ve added sangria this year.

Four Peaks Brewery
Mudshark Brewery
Budweiser
Michelob Ultra

Event FAQs

Are tickets required to attend the event?

No. This is a FREE, exclusive fall exhibit sponsored by the Town of Carefree and other generous donors. We encourage you to please donate if you feel the exhibit has exceeded your expectations. Your support will keep the arts coming to Carefree. There are donation boxes throughout the Garden and the Town of Carefree thanks you in advanced for helping fund this one-of-a-kind event.

Can I attend multiple events?

Yes! We encourage visitors to return more than once during the 10-day event. We guarantee you will see more the second time around! The Carefree Desert Gardens are open to the public 24/7, 365 days a year.

Where will I be able to park?

Parking is available in multiple areas of the Town unless otherwise designated. Handicap Parking is designated and available all around Carefree and the Desert Gardens. The most adjacent drop-off for handicap visitors is along Easy street in front of the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion at 101 Easy Street at the Carefree Desert Gardens.

May I come earlier than the listed events?

Why of course! The Carefree Desert Gardens are open to the public 24/7.

Can I meet Ray Villafane?

Yes. Ray will be tending the pumpkins in the Carefree Desert Gardens throughout our 10 day event. He may be spotted during the weekdays working in the Garden but we do not have specific times scheduled. Please call during the week at 480-488-3686 for detailed information.

Can I take pictures of the carved pumpkins?

Yes indeed! Capture the artistry and enchantment. Just be careful not to disturb any of the pumpkin exhibits throughout the Carefree Desert Gardens.

Will I be able to purchase a carved pumpkin?

Ray Villafane is hired exclusively by the Town of Carefree for the dates listed. If you would like to order a pumpkin during dates outside of this exhibit, please contact Ray directly at Villafane Studios 888.592.3337.

Will there be food vendors at the event?

The Town of Carefree has multiple restaurants to service visitors and can be found on the Town of Carefree website. Weekends will highlight craft beer, beer and wine along with autumnal treats. To learn more, click here.

Is this a family-friendly event?

Yes! This is an enchanted garden full of frolicking pumpkins building and cultivating their new home in the Carefree Desert Gardens. We encourage kids to count how many pumpkins are currently living in the Gardens and to spot the different pumpkins and Hubbard squashes working in this organic environment.

Are dogs allowed at the event?

Yes indeed! We welcome dogs up to 30 pounds. Larger dogs are not suitable for this event. All dogs must be on a leash and well-trained for safe interactions with adults, children and other dogs. The Carefree Desert Gardens provides a 4-acre walking path and dog/pet waste bags are available onsite.

Autumnal Treats

In addition to Carefree’s local restaurant favorites, will be providing addition Fall Harvest treats for your enjoyment with food trucks! We are currently finalizing our offerings and will post menus later this month. Items will be available during the weekends:

  • Friday, October 19: 10 am – 9 pm
  • Saturday, October 20: 10 am – 9 pm
  • Sunday, October 21: 10 am – 9 pm
  • Friday, October 26: 10 am – 9 pm
  • Saturday, October 27: 10 am – 9 pm
  • Sunday, October 28: 10 am – 9 pm

Harvest Market at the Sundial

Shop local featuring fall home décor, glass artisans, handmade gifts, autumnal treats and everything Fall! 

  • Friday, October 19: 8 am – 8 pm
  • Saturday, October 20: 10 am – 8 pm
  • Sunday, October 21: 10 am – 8 pm
  • Friday, October 26: 8 am – 8 pm
  • Saturday, October 27: 10 am – 8 pm
  • Sunday, October 28: 10 am – 8 pm

Merchandise Shop

Keep those Halloween lovers happy with special gifts for the whole family! The Town of Carefree will debut “limited edition” pumpkin pins, Halloween Lanyards with LED Lights for those Scarefree Nights, t-shirts, signed books by Ray, Villafane vine arms and legs, and much more!

Enchanted Pumpkin Garden

Additional Highlights

Check back as we continue to add highlights for this year’s Enchanted Pumpkin Garden.

Other Halloween Activities

Adopt a Pumpkin
Carefree Corn Maze
Family Carving Nights
Costume Contests
Beer Garden & Autumnal Treats
Witch Hat Sales & Silent Auction
Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest
Pumpkin Arts and Crafts
Face Painting
Trunk or Treat

Town of Carefree’s
Enchanted Pumpkin Garden

October 19 – October 28, 2018
101 Easy Street, Carefree AZ 85377
480.488.3686
info@carefreepumpkingarden.com
VisitCarefree.com

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