Return of the Great Pumpkin[man]
Jim Miller’s pumpkins are back.
“I hope to do more this year,” he said Saturday, Oct. 15, while heading a pumpkin-carving class at Turner’s Fresh Market.
Last year, an industrial accident at ThyssenKrupp Waupaca meant Miller was unable to carve pumpkins. The accident happened days before he was set to begin his work.
As a result, pumpkins were carved for him and dropped off at the Miller’s house on Golke Road in time for a Halloween weekend display.
In all, more than 140 pumpkins were brought there.
“I thank everyone for all the pumpkins. It was very heartwarming,” Miller said. “It was very neat. I can’t say enough about it.”
As he shared his love of carving pumpkins with others this past weekend, he said that he already had patterns on more than 70 pumpkins at home.
That did not include the pumpkins that will be featured in this year’s main theme.
On average, at least 80 percent of the pumpkins that he carves are pumpkins that are grown right on their property.
He began carving for this year’s display on Wednesday, Oct. 19.
“I’ll start putting them out on the 21st,” Miller said. “I’ll try to get 35 to 40 that first weekend and more every night.”
He noted that he has lost one helper – his son Stewart, who is a freshman in college. Miller and his wife Debbie also have two other children – Ben and Ellie.
Stewart was in kindergarten when Miller carved a pumpkin for Stewart’s class.
That was the beginning.
Miller estimates that for at least 12 years he has carved 50 or more pumpkins for the annual display.
Friday, Oct. 21, will be the first night his pumpkin carvings are on display. More pumpkins will be added each night until Halloween.
The lights will go on at dusk and stay on until 10:30 p.m. On weekends, they will stay on until midnight.
To see the display at the Miller’s home at E668 Golke Road, take State Highway 54 west from Waupaca approximately five miles before turning left on County Road Q. Drive about one mile and then go right on Golke Road.
People are asked to drive slowly once they get on Golke Road as many go to see the display and are often walking across Golke Road after parking and heading over to the Millers to view the pumpkins.
Donations are appreciated; people may also donate canned goods that will be delivered to the Waupaca Area Food Pantry.