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Columbia man carves pumpkin weighing over 2,300 pounds

Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 6:15 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, Ky. (WBKO) - A man from Adair County carved the state’s largest pumpkin, but he didn’t stop after a full day’s work of carving just one.

“After like three or four days mold sets in and they just start to rot. It’s temporary art,” said Drew Smith of Columbia.

For some, it’s temporary festive art, but for Smith, it’s a year-round hobby.

“If I’m not carving pumpkins, I’m either doing watermelon, butternut squash or sometimes even pineapples,” he said.

However, Smith says, carving pumpkins is his favorite.

“I got into pumpkin carving by just watching videos and then for the love of Halloween. There’s so much more you can do with a pumpkin because of the material.”

After getting his hands on two pumpkins this year, weighing over 4,000 pounds altogether, Smith had a lot of material to work with.

“It was 1,852 pounds. This one’s like 500 something pounds bigger,” expressed Smith standing between two huge pumpkins that were transported to his yard with a truck and forklift.

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Another Columbia man, Scott Bayuk, is a competitive pumpkin grower. After his pumpkin was certified as the state’s largest pumpkin at over 1,800 pounds, according to Great Pumpkin Commonwealth, he passed it off to Smith to carve.

“This is like the holy grail of carving pumpkins right here if you get a chance to do it,” said Smith.

The second large pumpkin from Bayuk’s field was over 2,300 pounds, but it was disqualified due to holes. For Smith though, it was a winner.

“This one right here, I kind of sketched out with a sharpie-- the legs of the crab and then also the head, and then the claws, and then I used like a hacksaw to take out all this meat right here,” said Smith.

Each pumpkin was given its own unique design which took over seven hours each to carve.

“The pumpkin lets you know what it wants to be carved. It’s mostly freehand in a way,” said Smith.

While the creation only lasts a few days, Smith says the best way to preserve them is through photos.

“So preserving these things is almost impossible. The only way you can preserve them is to just take a picture.”

These pictures to Smith are worth as much as they weigh. And while the ‘Great Pumpkins of the Commonwealth’ are on their way out, the festive creations will live on through the camera and Smith’s memories.

“Not many people do these size pumpkin carvings because usually they’re at festivals or people hire them to carve them. I just got lucky enough to be able to carve one and I’m just ecstatic over it,” said Smith.

According to Smith, the pumpkin grower, Bayuk, is in the process of reaching out to the Guinness Book of World Records to get that certification on at least one of the pumpkins.

Smith does give the seeds back to Bayuk who then sells them or uses them to grow for next year.

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