Carving Competition Info


Individual Carver

If you join as an individual carver you will be competing against others within the individual category only. Your entry may incorporate a single pumpkin or multiple pumpkins.

Team Carvers
Each team is made up of 2-3 participants. The entire team works together on a single entry that should incorporate multiple pumpkins (at least one per team member) and will be judged against others within the team division.


  • The GUTS competition is open to local and regional creative professionals. We welcome competitors from all aspects from the creative profession — designers, developers, art directors, artists, architects, photographers, and more are all welcome! If you’re not sure if you’re a fit for GUTS, feel free to ask us.
  • Each participant or team must provide their own pumpkin(s) and carving tools.
  • Pumpkins should be gutted before carving begins to save time and reduce mess on-site.
  • Other than planning, no other prep work may be done on your pumpkin (drawing, scoring, pre-cutting parts, etc.).
  • Carving time is 90 minutes.
  • There has to be at least 1 pumpkin per entrant (individual or team member).
  • You may incorporate multiple pumpkins, gourds, and similar materials as accessories or in support of your entry.
  • Props may be used but cannot comprise the majority of your design. Keep in mind this is a pumpkin carving contest and your carving skills are what will be evaluated most heavily by the judges.
  • Power tools are acceptable but must have their own power source (no power provided).
  • Painting can be part of your design, but it must also be carved.
  • Lighting your pumpkin is up to you (no power provided).
  • Your final creation will need to be able to be moved from your carving table to the buyer’s car, if purchased in the silent auction. If you are creating a team entry that is large, it will need to be structurally sound enough—or able to be separated to be moved. Note that the carver bringing in the highest auction bid in both the Individual and Team divisions receives a bonus of points, so it’s important to keep the auction-bidders happy!
  • Costumes are welcome and decorating your prep area is accepted with limits on the staging area so that you do not disturb adjacent carvers. Keep in mind, the only thing you will be scored on is your pumpkin carving. If you are interested in receiving a plan drawing of your staging area or want to discuss any of this in more detail, please contact us.

If there are any questions about the rules that are not answered here, please contact us. We will respond to each question received.


By entering you are forfeiting your creation to the cause. Unless you are the high bidder for your own pumpkin, you will not be taking your creation home, unless no one bids on your pumpkin, in which case you are responsible for removing it from the premises.

Awards and Scoring


Every judge gives each entry a score in the range of 1-10 (1 being the worst, 10 being the best). Each entry will receive a cumulative score in the range of 4-40.

Additionally, in order to reward big money earners, the carving bringing in the highest auction bid in both the Individual and Team division will get an additional 1.5 pts, bringing your possible scoring total to 5.5 – 41.5. Our goal with this rule is to reward the entry that raises the most money and help break any ties. It happens more than you might think — we have had to rely on the tie breaker in one or both categories each year this has been in effect. We hope you have fun with this and see what you can do to invite the highest bids possible!

Additionally, we take a close look at enforcing the rules to ensure a fair playing field. If your team is caught breaking any rule (see Carving Rules above), then we will take a 1.5 point deduction off of your total. Be careful and make sure you are aware of all rules!


In each division, 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners are determined and announced. Each winner receives a cash prize this year!

Additionally, the individual and the team receiving the highest cumulative score will be awarded the official GUTS trophy. We will engrave the trophy with your name on it and bring it to your office where you can enjoy display and bragging rights for one year. We will then pick up the trophy next year to give to the new winner.

In addition, we are introducing a People’s Choice award this year! This will ensure that all voices are heard from your peers and the audience. Everyone at the event will be able to cast a vote. More about how to vote for the People’s Choice winner will be announced at the event.


Check back soon to find out who will be our GUTS Judges!

Register for GUTS!