Provo family carves dozens of pumpkins each year


One Provo family carved dozens of pumpkins for Halloween as part of an annual tradition.

Utah native Laura Middleton said she has been carving pumpkins for as long as she can remember.

“We raised pumpkins, we had a farm, so we always grew our own,” she said. “We just carved all of the pumpkins we could.”

Middleton’s daughter, Katie Middleton Spedding, said she can’t remember a time they haven’t carved pumpkins.

Laura Middleton and her siblings pose with some of their first carved pumpkins. Middleton grew up visiting the family’s pumpkin farm, which supplied pumpkins for her projects up until a few years ago. (Photo courtesy of Laura Middleton)

“It’s just what we’ve done,” she said. “It’s just such a fun time for our family. Everyone comes together.”

Middleton said she likes to use a technique she calls “sculpting” to create her masterpieces.

“So it’s kind of the opposite of a regular sculpture … when you’re carving a pumpkin, instead of those things sticking out, those are the things you carve deeper,” she said.

Middleton’s sister, Terri Varnell, said she prefers to carve pumpkins with cutout designs.

“When you have the pattern all drawn on the pumpkin, it does make it a little bit hard to know what it’s going to be,” Varnell said. “It’s not until you have it done and you have a light behind it that you see.”

Neighbors and friends look forward to the annual pumpkin display and often contribute to it, Middleton said.

The family said they plan to keep the tradition alive for years to come.

“My birthday is Halloween, so that’s how I get away with this,” Middleton said. “I’m not sure my family would be quite as accommodating if it weren’t my birthday.”

The Middletons will have their pumpkins on display in their front yard for several days in honor of the holiday.

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