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Giant Napa pumpkin gets in spooky shape at NYC station

NEW YORK — Call it Gourd Central Terminal.

Giant pumpkins as big as 1,500 pounds were being carved Friday into fanged jaws and other eerie shapes before passers-by at New York's Grand Central Terminal. The event kicked off a weekend of giant-pumpkin carving at the New York Botanical Garden.

Big or small, pumpkin is "a great material to work from," master carver Ray Villafane said as he and fellow carvers worked on their spooky Halloween tableau. "When you carve a face or something into it, it's neat to see that little fruit come alive."

Little fruit was in short supply at Friday's event, though. One of the pumpkins Villafane and the others sculpted was 1,496-pounder grown in Edinburg, Pa. It was being shaped into a "carnivorous creature" with batteries of fearsome teeth.

And there are still bigger gourds on the botanical garden's Bronx grounds, including a 2,032-pound pumpkin from Napa, Calif. The garden is featuring more than 500 hand-carved pumpkin sculptures in an exhibit that extends through, naturally, Halloween.


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