You Won't Believe What These Pumpkins Will Do for Hunger

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This is the second year the traditional competition will benefit the Capital Area Food Bank with a donation of three nonperishable food items for admission.  Last year, about 600 pounds of food was collected for Central Texans in need.

“We’re also a nonprofit and to give the Food Bank money is unrealistic,” said Diane Sikes, the director of programs at Umlauf. “But we if can use our talent to teach people how to sculpt and also give to the Food Bank, well, that just seems like a great partnership.”

H-E-B donates about 40 pumpkins which are distributed to participants who are competing for numerous prizes.

“It’s just a fun community event where kids and adults can carve pumpkins and participate in a silly round of judging,” Sikes said.

Texas Society of Sculptors member Marla Ripperda, commonly known as Professor Pumpkin, will be on site to give a live demonstration and provide carving tips. Participants are welcome to being their own sculpting tools or use ones provided by the sculpture garden.

“Professor Pumpkins’ skills are showing how to adapt your drawings to a round canvas,” Sikes said.

Sikes said sculptors of all ages will strive to design unique carvings which compete in several categories such as spookiest, most artistic and more.

“We want to be good neighbors, and a pumpkin sculpting competition seems like a nice way to give back,” Sikes said.

Registration is not required to participate. Admission is free with the donation of three healthy, nonperishable food items. The Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum is located at 605 Robert E. Lee Road. For more information about Umlauf Sculpture Garden, visit For more information about the Capital Area Food Bank, visit