Watch as a Giant Inflatable Pumpkin Escapes from an Arts Center and Terrorizes Town

The great pumpkin takes an unexpected journey.

The pumpkin running free. Photo: Diego Ramirez.
The pumpkin running free. Photo: Diego Ramirez.
The escaped pumpkin recaptured.  Photo: City of Peoria, courtesy Scripps Media, Inc.

The escaped pumpkin recaptured.
Photo: City of Peoria, courtesy Scripps Media, Inc.

Residents of Peoria, Arizona got quite a scare when a 350-pound inflatable pumpkin broke free from its restraints in front of the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday afternoon.

The giant jack-o’-lantern belongs to Big AZ Promotions, and was part of a display advertising the Peoria Monster Bash before high winds allowed it to roam freely around the town of 160,000. The jolly, but terrifyingly large, pumpkin reportedly traveled a quarter mile, crossed multiple lanes of traffic, cleared a wall, and hurdled through a parking lot before coming to rest in neighborhood park.

The pumpkin running free. Photo: Diego Ramirez.

The pumpkin running free.
Photo: Diego Ramirez.

“I was so shocked to see that it was like bouncing like a basketball all the way down the road,” Big AZ Promotion’s Patrick Sparkes told local news outlet KPNX of the pumpkin’s unexpected journey. The company spent some 40 minutes searching for the lost pumpkin following its sudden escape.

Its exact size is a matter of some debate: ABC described it as 14-feet tall, while KPNX reported the outsize decoration was no less than 25-feet tall and 350 pounds. No one was hurt by the pumpkin’s unexpected journey, although it knocked over two street lights in the process.

The pumpkin bounced down the street.  Photo: Alen Morgan, via YouTube.

The pumpkin bounced down the street.
Photo: Alen Morgan, via YouTube.

Giants inflatable objects have been having quite a year: in August alone, artist Kurt Perschke’s RedBall Project, featuring a 15-foot-tall, 250-pound bright red ball, caused quite a sensation when a sudden gust of wind carried the artwork down the streets of Toledo, Ohio; earlier that month, a giant 40-foot-tall Minion promoting the newest Despicable Me sequel stopped traffic in Dublin, Ireland.

The escaped inflatable Minion in Dublin. Photo: Sean Judge, via Twitter.

The escaped inflatable Minion in Dublin.
Photo: Sean Judge, via Twitter.

Dublin city councilor Paul McAuliffe was resolutely unamused, tweeting, “Escaped Minion at Omni in Santry may seem hilarious but its a dispicable [sic] breach of health & safety.”

See the giant pumpkin on the loose in the video below:


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