Carving Rules


  • 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 must 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 during 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. 
  • No more than 3 teams from any one company or agency will be accepted. While we truly appreciate all the interest, we are limited in space; we want to give as many different folks as possible a chance to participate. 
  • 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.  


Individual Division

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

Team Division
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.