The Hopewell Valley Arts Council celebrated another successful and fun-filled Amazing Pumpkin Carve, from October 10 to 14, 2018 at Woolsey Park in Hopewell Township.

For the fourth year, visitors of all ages were wowed by gigantic pumpkin sculptures carved by some of the area’s best local artists. Local nonprofits enlisted their most creative members to made scarecrows, decorating the Carve and sharing the community spirit. New this year, artists had access to electricity. With cool lighting opportunities, this year’s pumpkin carve was electrifying.

“The fourth year of the Carve was bigger and better than ever — more visitors, more fun activities, more art — and the centerpiece of the Carve – the most jaw-dropping giant pumpkins ever!” said Hopewell Valley Arts Council Board of Trustees President Carol Lipson. “This year’s pumpkins were a real showcase of skill and artistry by our amazing carvers.”

2018 HV Arts Council Amazing Pumpkin Carve Best in Show: “Blood Sucker” by Matt Derby (Photo: Kyle Wille)

With stiff competition, Best in Show went to Matt Derby for his creation, “Blood Sucker,” a wide-mouthed bat with outstretched wings. Douglas May took Best Carving for his intricate “Bluebeard” (photograph below). “Sisters at Heart,” a two-headed singing woman carved from a single pumpkin, by Aleece Davis and Jill Thomas won Most Original Design. Most Creative Use of Materials went to Jennifer Stevens’ “Will Work for Peanuts,” an adorable and impressive circus elephant. Most Humorous went to Michael Davies for his comic strip design in “Scary Romance.” Scariest was “Hatchling” by Eric Schultz, a fire-breathing dragon emerging from its egg. Best Use of Electricity, new this year, was awarded to “Bat Troll” by Gyuri Hollosy and Annalise Hollosy. The HV Arts Council Award was given to Curtis May for “Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde.” Honorable mentions were awarded to: “Floradecehedron” by Jeff Brown, “Vulture Culture” by Kathleen Sheehan & Cynthia Miklos, “Gritty” by Jonathan Conner, “Leo the Lion” by Carol Gorham, “Hole Reversal” by Patrick Pasquito, and “Two Headed Bats” by Jodi Walker. Anne Ellery and Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space (FoHVOS) won best scarecrow.

For a slideshow of amazing pumpkins, please check out this link.

2018 HV Arts Council Amazing Pumpkin Carve Best Carved: “Bluebeard” by Douglas May (Photo: Mike Chipowsky)

Local Lex Dorner was only a quarter of a pound off in the “guess the pumpkin weight.” He and his family won a custom pumpkin carved by local professional pumpkin carver, Curtis May. Tying for second place, Gary Goodman and Judy Bushong received memberships to the Hopewell Valley Arts Council.

“Guess the weight” Pumpkin Winner Dorner with his family

More new activities this year included a cornhole tournament and pet costume contest. Mark Mattaliano and Joe Witkowski came in first place in the cornhole tournament, and Roger Shapiro and Ray Petty came in second. In the post costume contest, canine friend Amore, Deanna Cuchiaro’s bracco italiano stole everyone’s hearts, and Melody, Felicia Schilp’s eastern box turtle came in second.

This event is hosted by the Hopewell Valley Arts Council. Ticket and sponsorship proceeds benefit the HV Arts Council, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and go toward artist-carvers’ honoraria and to fund other arts-related programs of the Hopewell Valley Arts Council.

“Special appreciation goes out to all of our sponsors. Without their support, it would be impossible to stage this wonderful community celebration,” said Lipson. “The Pumpkin Carve has become an annual Hopewell Valley tradition, one that we hope to expand and thrive for many years to come. When visitors leave the Carve inspired to explore their own artistic expression, we’re happy to be part of discovering art in the everyday.”