GUTS Orlando: Creatives Carving Wishes

AIGA Orlando presents GUTS, a live pumpkin carving contest to raise money for Make-A-Wish®.

Jack o'lanterns are an integral part of the American Halloween tradition, but where does the custom originate? The story dates back centuries to an Irish folktale of a stingy man named Jack who played a trick on the devil and ended up banned from Hell and denied admittance to Heaven for all of eternity. When the Devil refused this miserable stingy soul entrance to Hell, he tossed Jack an ember from Hell’s fire to light his path. Jack, a lover of turnips, hollowed out the one he carried on his person, placed the ember inside and used his lantern to light his way as he roamed between both afterworlds.

What: GUTS Orlando
When: October 29, 2016; 2 to 9 pm
Where: 2424-2423 E. Robinson St., Orlando FL 32803
Who: AIGA Orlando
Why: Make wishes come true for children who fight for their lives every day
How: Carver registration fees and auction
Free to attend, donations accepted

The Irish began the practice of carving out turnips and gourds which were readily available to them and brought the custom when they immigrated to America in the 1800’s. On American soil, they discovered pumpkins, larger and easier to carve, and thus the modern jack o'lantern was created.

The tradition may originally be inspired by a stingy man named Jack, but there’s a group of Americans who are changing the history of carving pumpkins into a story of generosity. AIGA Orlando – the local chapter of the national association for designers – presents GUTS Orlando: Creatives Carving Wishes, a live pumpkin carving contest on October 29, 2016, that will raise funds for Make-A-Wish of Central and Northern Florida®. Local designers, artists, craftsmen, and creatives will gather to go head-to-head while onlookers watch as they compete to carve the most unique designs into pumpkins in the three-hour window between 2 and 5 pm. Their creations will then be judged by a jury as well as voted on by the crowd for whose pumpkin designs inspire the most awe. 

While the judges and crowd decide who will go home victorious for showing the best GUTS, local bands will perform live at the after party. Food will be served from food trucks or some of the surrounding establishments such as Spacebar and The Sandwich Shop, where libations are also available, and people will celebrate America's Halloween pumpkin carving tradition in a new way.

If you are interested in carving in the competition, or for more information about attending the event visit

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