The Pumpkin Carving Festival

Ed Moody’s Monster Carving. —Photo by Russ Sumida

The third annual Pumpkin Carving Festival marked the beginning of fall this week, with events around town to benefit Keiki O Ka Aina Family Learning Centers and USO Hawaii. Last year, it was held at the Blaisdell with a family event and a corporate carving; this year, it seems they decided to spread out.

Master Carver Ed Moody of Michigan kicked off the week with a Monster Carving event at Waikiki Beach Walk on Sunday. He tackled a 1,000-pound pumpkin and created a fun, gigantic display. (Click here for photos.) Local artist Wayne Takazono was also on hand to carve a normal-sized pumpkin — appropriately into a portrait of Outrigger Hotels’ founders Roy and Estelle Kelley. (Outrigger Hotels is a main sponsor for the Festival.)

Last night, Tamarind Park in downtown Honolulu was transformed into a big pumpkin-palooza, as companies participated in a team carving competition. There was also an executive pumpkin carving, in which a honcho from each company was assigned to an artist “assistant” to make a great pumpkin of their own.

This was my first time to the Festival, so I had no idea that there were so many people and so many amazing things you can do with a pumpkin. It was hot, and it was crowded — I could barely move my arms to take any photos, and missed a lot of good shots. But hopefully you get an idea of what was going on in Bishop Square last night through these photos.

Pumpkin Carving Festival 2012

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In the interest of time, I didn’t add captions, but the big winner was the Architects Hawaii ocean scene. Gangnam Style was a popular theme, and anchor-turned-flack Ron Mizutani led the Communications Pacific team in a dance once they finished carving. These pumpkins will not be on display in one place; you may need to visit individual offices to see the carvings up close.

If you want to get more of the Pumpkin Festival, Ed Moody will be carving a 70-pound pumpkin at the Outrigger Reef at 4 p.m. today. There will also be a family day at Windward Mall this Saturday. For more information, visit