Ocean Park today unveiled Hong Kong’s largest-ever pumpkin sculpture, sending the festive atmosphere of this year’s Halloween Fest to a new high. The gremlin-themed sculpture, which epitomises the fun and scares of Ocean Park’s signature Halloween celebration, was created from an over 1,000-lb giant pumpkin and several pumpkins of different sizes by award-winning US sculptors Ray Villafane and Andy Bergholtz. Ocean Park guests can view the giant pumpkin sculpture at Pumpkin Creation Lab presented by Jetstar, one of the many attractions of Halloween Fest. Ripley’s Believe it or Not! today recognised Ocean Park for presenting the world’s largest collection of pickled pumpkin sculptures and informed the Park the attraction will be included in their next international publication.
The design of the giant pumpkin sculpture features a gremlin sitting atop a fun and scary giant pumpkin while munching on it. The design was specifically created for Halloween Fest and features extremely realistic facial expressions for which Ray is world famous.
Ray said, “It has been very gratifying for me and my team to see the expressions of amazement on the faces of the thousands of guests that have passed through Pumpkin Creation Lab to view the giant pumpkin and our pumpkin sculptures. Many of the guests were delighted to be greeted by a pumpkin featuring the likeness of Dr. Allan Zeman, a local icon and Chairman of Ocean Park. We are particularly proud to be involved in creating Hong Kong’s largest-ever pumpkin sculpture, using a giant pumpkin that I handpicked in the US for Halloween Fest.”
Ray and his team have been creating hundreds of pumpkin sculptures at Ocean Park. The pumpkins were subsequently immersed in vinegar to preserve them for public viewing. Today, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! presented a certificate to Ray Villafane, Andy Bergholtz and Ocean Park in recognition of their having created the world’s largest collection of pickled pumpkin sculptures.
Mr. Todd Hougland, Ocean Park’s Executive Director of Operations and Entertainment, said, “Ocean Park is proud to have introduced the culture of Halloween celebrations in Hong Kong more than a decade ago. This year, we are delighted to bring Ray and his team to share their amazing talents of sculpting real pumpkins into works of art with our guests. This collection is truly one-of-a-kind and never seen before in Hong Kong. We are thrilled that our efforts have been recognized from the highly respected Ripley’s Believe It or Not!”
Ray added, “Pumpkin sculpting is a highly unpredictable and painstaking process. We cannot be certain whether the texture and colour of the pumpkin flesh are optimal for sculpting until we start carving. And as the texture of the pumpkin flesh varies throughout, the carving must proceed in small steps to ensure a smooth presentation of the design. We are thrilled by the result achieved in the giant pumpkin sculpture we have created and look forward to giving all the guests visiting Ocean Park an unforgettable Halloween experience over the coming days.”
As part of Halloween Fest, Ray and his team have been offering Pumpkin Carvin’ Fun, a pumpkin carving workshop for guests to try their hands at creating an iconic Halloween handicraft. “Participation in the workshop has been very enthusiastic. We are all astonished by the creativity and imagination of Ocean Park’s guests,” said Ray.
In addition to Pumpkin Creation Lab, other fun attractions and activities for the whole family include: M&M’S® Crash the Monster Party, a hide-and-seek adventure with five differently coloured M&M’S guys; and Fun-tastic Funhouse, a labyrinth of illusions and shape-shifting mirrors, with a galore of photo opportunities. Thrill-seekers can look forward to following Ms. Law Lan’s whispering instructions as they try to escape from Law Lan’s Possessed Possessions presented by Blue Girl; and deciphering clues inside hidden spaces within Murder Factory presented by Yahoo! while evading murderous fiends and sneaky traps.
Halloween Fest will run all day and night on selected event days until 31 October.