Signature Attractions

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Master Pumpkin Carvers…Giant Pumpkin Drops from Cranes…A World of Toasty Fall and Orange–Themed Fun!

The Country’s Best Master Carvers Will Showcase Their Artistic Talents For Turning Pumpkins Into Picturesque Works Of Art…
And, Attempt to Break the World-Record for Largest Jack-o-Lantern!

Massive 3D pumpkin carving artwork with incredible detailMassive 3D pumpkin carving artwork with incredible detailTop: Gus Smithhisler and Russ Leno prepare their pumpkins… Bottom: Dean Murray and Danny Kissel stand ready to dig in too! All four are among the master carvers coming to the 2019 Pittsburgh Monster Pumpkins Festival.

Cucurbit Citizens…Carvers to Sculpt Characters from Movies Filmed in Pittsburgh!

Pittsburgh Monster Pumpkins Festival brings to the City the country’s top pumpkin carvers, all of them renowned performers in this unique field of “temporary art.” Headlining the event are: Russ Leno, Gus Smithhisler,  Dean Murray, Pennsylvania’s Danny Kissel and Pittsburgh’s own, Jim Morgan. Together, the artists have earned many national and international awards and have appeared on TV shows such as: Food Network, Tonight Show and Martha Stewart.

The carvers will arrive several days before the event to begin their work—picking, scraping, etching, chiseling and fashioning—raw pumpkin into incredible 3-D imagery.

THIS YEAR’S FEATURED PORTRAITS?…the artists will create familiar faces from different motion pictures shot in western Pennsylvania. Among the faces/scenes anticipated: Robocop, The Last Witchhunter, Flashdance and Silence of the Lambs.

JUMBO JACK! World Record Jack-O-Lantern Attempt on Tap.

We’re doing it—actually all five carvers are—as they collaborate to break the record for the world’s largest jack-o-lantern. The current mark was established just last year at a festival in Ohio at 2,077 pounds. A one-ton+ jack is one titanic undertaking…see it, selfie it, become part of the herculean history.

See Smashing Pumpkins!

No, it’s not the famed music band. Our version is much more literal, dramatic and hyper-charged with anticipation. It’s what happens when you hoist a nearly 2,000 pound pumpkin 100+ feet into the air by crane and watch it come crashing to the ground—in one earth-shaking cacophony of cucurbit crunch. Except…we’ve planned some twists to our titanic falls:

1. The Pumpkin Piñata—for the kids of course…twice during the weekend, we’ll hollow out one of these big boys and fill it with all sorts of candy treats. Except there’s no pounding with a stick or bat…we drop it straight to the ground, then open the gates and let the kids pick up the pieces—of candy, not pumpkin.

2. The Project Bundle–Up Pumpkin Splash—we’ve teamed up with WTAE Channel-4 and the Salvation Army to assist this worthy service effort—that provides new winter coats, hats, scarves, mittens and boots to thousands of underprivileged western Pennsylvania children and senior citizens annually—with one gigantic splash of a promotion.

2019 pumpkin splash logo_no border

Here’s how it works: we fill a 10’-diameter, 3’-deep inflatable pool with water and numbered ping pong balls. A reasonable donation gets you one ball in the pool and one chance at winning. At the end of the day Saturday, we release the pumpkin into the pool. The prodigious plunge wildly disperses the balls. The one traveling farthest from the pool gets the goods. So get your gourd face on and into the game…to donate and discover the prizes—click here!

What Happens When an 1,800 Pound GIANT PUMPKIN Falls 100 Feet to the Ground Into a 3-Foot Pool of Water!

1,800 Pound Pumpkin Drop to benefit Project Bundle Up!

Gourd Giveaway!


BAIERL.COM “Pumpkins In A Pickup Patch”

Pumpkins are the theme, fun and flavor of the event. And, while our giants are a little large for you to take home, we do have hundreds of “right-size” pumpkins for families and kids…ready to be decorated and displayed for Halloween.
We’ll be giving away FREE, soccer-ball sized pumpkins all weekend long while our supplies last at the BAIERL.COM Pumpkins In a Pickup Patch! Just look for the shiny new pickups on site with their truck beds filled to the brim with Halloween’s favorite fruit. One per family please!…and while you’re in the patch take advantage of the decoration station nearby…where our artists can give your pumpkin a friendly, silly or spooky face.

A family fun festival of fruits, gourds and all things with the flavor of Fall
Hand-blown glass pumpkins are part of the unique offerings that will be presented by Vessel Studio Glass.


A Very “Glassy” Act!
Vessel Studio adds Gloss and Glass to the Show

From pumpkins in a pick-up, to those hand-blown and gleaned from glass…The husband and wife team of Drew and Jeannine Hine of Vessel Studio Glass will showcase a collection of Fall-themed items, anchored by their incredibly lifelike and lustrous presentation of pumpkins.

The couple operates Vessel Studio Glass in Pittsburgh’s South Side where they create blown glass sculpture, custom lighting and various home goods.

At the festival, they will demonstrate the glass-blowing process and skill that have made them and their business a unique part of Pittsburgh’s art and industrial landscape. See their “live demos” several times each day…shop the array of high quality, highly colorful products handcrafted and on display.

Champions Row

Dave Stelts with his 1,994 pound prize pumpkin
Western PA’s Dave Stelts with his incredible 1,934-pound pumpkin at the 2018 Ohio Valley Giant Pumpkin Growers weigh-off. Dave’s resume is at the top of the Who’s Who book of giant pumpkin growers. He has 10 total first place finishes at GPC-sanctioned weigh-offs and has grown over 50 pumpkins exceeding 1,000 or more pounds. He set the GPC world record in 2000 and finished 2nd and 3rd in 2009 and 2011 respectively. Meet Dave at Pittsburgh Monster Pumpkins Festival…and see this incredible fruit which one of our master carvers will turn into one giant pumpkin portrait!

Staged on the Market Street Pier at the Riverwalk, three regional champion pumpkins will be on display—as officially designated by the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth [GPC]. Are all expected to be in excess of 2,000 pounds!

Members of the New York, Michigan and the Pennsylvania Giant Pumpkin Growers Association (PGPGA) including western PA’s own Dave Stelts—former GPC president, world record holder and one of the most prolific growers in the world—will be on hand to answer questions and detail the level of determination and drive necessary to turn a tiny seed into a towering pumpkin.

Seed Diving…digging in to dig’em out!

Someone has got to do it…preserving seeds for next year’s crop of giants is paramount…members of the GPC are constantly refining techniques, soil science and growth experiences…which each new growing season begins with the seeds harvested from the champions the year before.

But to get them, you have to get in them…in a practice known affectionately as “seed diving.” Our champions will demonstrate and, possibly, suit up some diving daredevils from the crowd who want to get a feel for how it’s done.

The Dill’s Atlantic Giant Pumpkin is the world’s largest pumpkin and featured in festivals and competitions around the world.

Seed diving is the colorful name given to the practice of extracting the seeds from cultivated pumpkins so they can be used for the following year’s harvest.

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