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Pumpkin Patch Halloween Holiday Carving Effort Goes On Display
There is something for every sports fan here, with the San Francisco 49ers and Giants, the Oakland Raiders, Denver Broncos and Oakdale Mustangs a few of the teams featured on these carved pumpkins. - photo by Marg Jackson/The Leader

Growing every year, the Halloween ‘pumpkin patch’ set up along Rodden Road, off Highway 120 just northeast of the city, was another success. More than 200 intricately carved pumpkins were placed around the expansive lawn area at 7667 Rodden, with groupings ranging from musical icons to Disney characters to sports teams.

“We grow some of them, we have some donations and this year my crop wasn’t so great so I had to buy a few,” explained Tami Munns, one of the masterminds behind the Halloween decoration explosion. She and friend Gina Morgan got the idea to put together the large pumpkin patch several years ago, with Morgan doing most of the designing. The display used to be in the city of Oakdale, but moved out to the Rodden Road location to allow more room for the effort.

“This year we had four families, seven adults that participated,” Munns added of the carving that goes into creating the display. “We started the Saturday morning before Halloween and we pretty much work 12-hour days.”

Most were done by the night before Halloween, but a few were being added at the last minute, right up until ‘show time’ on Oct. 31.

To light up the display at night, strings of Christmas lights are used, since lighting 200-plus candles in the various jack-o-lanterns would be incredibly time-consuming and costly. The holiday lights are much easier and add even more color to the festivities, said Munns.

She estimated that 90 percent of the pumpkin carvings are done freehand, with just a few done with patterns. Gutting the pumpkins takes a lot of time, as most of them have to be cleaned out before any actual carving can begin.

“We have a lot of visitors, and friends of course,” Munns said of people coming to view the display. “This is our third year here.”

The effort has been ongoing for about seven years, but just three at the Rodden Road location. Munns said this past weekend was likely the last for the display, as the pumpkins were starting to get a little soft. They will be used as compost so they won’t go to waste.