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People’s Choice at the Jack Hannah Pumpkin Carving Competition 2015

The two day Jack Hannah Pumpkin Carving Competition, at the Columbus Zoo, started near dawn with the set up of the People’s Choice Competition Entries. Anyone of any carving skill could enter this category of the competition. The winners were selected by a vote of the people who attended the zoo for the two days. Over 3000 ballots were submitted by people of all ages. You’ll see in the subjects of the carvings, that children were expected to be active voters. And they were.

The Jack Hannah pumpkin carving competition also had 3 other competition events including a Masters 3D competition, a Masters Build competition, as well as a Professional and Amateur competition. There was a total of $7900 in cash prizes.

The top 5 winners in the People’s Choice won $100 cash prize each.

Let us know your favorites in the comments section below.

The Winners of the Jack Hanna Pumpkin Carving Competition are:
1st Place Winner

The runaway winner of the first place prize was Shannon Gerasimchick with his beautiful and big sea turtle.

carved pumpkin sea turtle by Shannon

Shannon Gersimchick’s sea turtle was the 1st place winner. Titled “Under the Sea”, it was carved from a 300 pound pumpkin.

pumpkin sea turtle

Shannon originally carved a 300 pound pumpkin to look like a Triceratops dinosaur. Unfortunately, (or maybe fortunately, as it turned out) the triceratops pumpkin collapsed while being transported to the event. Shannon cleverly re-purposed the carving into the shell of a sea turtle. And he won the first place prize by wide margin.

2nd Place Winner

The second place People’s Choice prize went to Jon Michaels with his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle themed carving

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pumpkins

The entry named “Look at Me Leonardo” by Jon Michaels  featuring Teenage Ninja Turtles won 2nd prize. The inside of the top head was lit with a blue light to add an eerie glow.

3rd Place Winner

Dean Arnold's pumpkin man carving a pumpkin gorilla

Dean Arnold took 3rd place with his skillfully carved pumpkin man carving a pumpkin gorilla


Here is a close up look at Dean Arnold’s pumpkin carving of a Gorilla


A closer look at Dean’s pumpkin man.

pumpkin vulture scene Danny Kissel

In 4th place was Danny Kissel’s vulture scene was named “Dinner to Go”.

The points from the ranking in the People’s Choice were factored into the final overall score to determine the overall winner of the Master’s category. This is the piece that brought Danny’s score up to edge out three time overall masters champion Dean Murray by only 4 points.

pumpkin vulture Danny Kissel

Here’s a closer look at Danny Kissel’s vulture. Notice the remains dripping from the beak. Nice touch.

pumpkin T-Rex by Titus Arensberg

Titus Arensberg’s Godzilla won the 5th place prize.

t-rex-pumpkin by Titus Arensberg

Here’s a closer look at Godzilla’s sneakers. Besides being humorous, these added shoes were a tribute to one of Titus’ friends who has passed.

The following carvings were the remaining entries of the Jack Hanna Pumpkin Carving Competition listed in order of votes received.

eating brains by Mike Brown

Mike Brown’s 6th Place winning pumpkin sculpture, dubbed “Dinner Time”

pumpkin carving competition mike brown

Closer look at the skillfully carved expression of pumpkin man who’s brains are getting eaten

evil pumpkin eating brains Mike Brown

Mike Brown’s evil, brain eating pumpkin

pumpkin squirrel acorn tree by Maryse

Maryse Richard’s pumpkin squirrel and acorn tree placed 6th.

Jim Morgan played to the crowd with his characters from the movie Frozen. When standing nearby, I often heard girls saying, “Oh, look, it’s Elsa and Olaf”.

pumpkin characters Elsa and Olaf from Frozen by Jim Morgan

Jim Morgan carved and painted Elsa and Olaf from the Disney Movie Frozen. this was the 8th place winner.

Star Wars characters by Dean Murray

Dean Murray carved up 3 Star Wars characters and placed 9th. He named his entry “Do or Do Not”.

Minion moon landing by Stephan Koch

This cleverly constructed Minion moon landing scene in by Stephan Koch placed 1oth.

Batman Minion by Ryan Roth.

Batman Minion created by Ryan Roth placed 11th. He named this “The Dork Knight”.

Tyler Coleman's pumpkin Star Wars

Tyler Coleman’s pumpkin Star Wars scene placed 12th with his entry named “Near and Far Wars”.

pumpkin Star Wars by Tyler Coleman

This was a clever spoof on the original movie opening

pumpkin spider by Dustin Weatherby

Creepy giant spider by Dustin Weatherby placed 13th.

It takes 3 photos to show you all 3 sides of William Wilson’s entry with 3 different Marvel comic characters. This placed 14th.

The incredible hulk by William Wilson

Marvel Characters by William Wilson

William ended up having to do a lot of touch up carving after the red towels he wrapped his sculptures in, bled red all over the pumpkins. He was up until 3:00 in the morning repairing the damage.

Marvel Characters by William Wilson.

Marvel Characters by William Wilson.

Captain America pumpkin

Captain America pumpkin by William Wilson

Ninja Turtle pumpkins by Trent Mason

Stack of Ninja Turtle pumpkins, named “Turtle Power” by Trent Mason was the 15th favorite.

This next competition entry looks like he’s not feeling so well…

Pumpkin monk vomiting worms by Jeremy Smith.

“Wormy” by Jeremy Smith.

carve green squash by Gus Smithhisler

Autumn man carved onto green squash by Gus Smithhisler was named “Seasons Change”.

Isn’t this a create collection of different ideas and style of pumpkin carving? The winners were chosen by the visitors of the zoo. Each was able to cast a ballot choosing their favorite. Children were active voters as well as adults. This segment of the competition was NOT judged by the judges at all.

Which one of the Jack Hanna Pumpkin Carving Competition, People’s Choice entries, do you like the best? Free free to let us know in the comments section below.

Learn to carve like a pro

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