Underwater pumpkin carving makes a scene in SCV

By Nikolas Samuels

Last update: Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

A 61-year-old, self-proclaimed “crazy clown” is in a bright-colored tutu scuba diving under the water while carving a pumpkin. No, this is not a nightmare akin to the new clown craze. It is quite the opposite.

This is the ninth annual Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center.

Around 250 people were expected to check out games, a photo booth, arts and crafts and most importantly, underwater pumpkin carving Saturday evening.

Those attending the contest vote for the winning pumpkin at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016 Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/For The Signal.
Those attending the contest vote for the winning pumpkin at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center on Saturday. Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/For The Signal.

“It’s turned into a sort of carnival for the whole family,” said Aquatic Specialist Pete McJunkin, who helped run the event.

Fifteen teams of two people participated in the spectator-judged carving contest.

One such person was Cathi Pearson, the “crazy clown” who has participated in this contest ever since its inception. With face makeup, a tutu and a tiny clown hat on her head, she was ready to carve a pumpkin under the water with her partner, Sheryl Robinson.

“It’s really different,” said Pearson. “It’s a hoot.”

She planned to carve both a bell pepper and pumpkin under the water then put the carved pepper in the pumpkin’s mouth.

Scuba divers in the water get ready to begin underwater pumpkin carving at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016. Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/For The Signal.
Scuba divers in the water get ready to begin underwater pumpkin carving at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center on Saturday. Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/For The Signal.

“I kind of did a combo of designs since I’m not an artist,” she said.

Walking around the pool were families checking out all the attractions while their costumed kids were in tow.

Dressed as a minion from the movie, Despicable Me, Jacob Perez, 5, was looking forward to seeing all the cool ideas the carvers had for their pumpkins.

“I want to see what face they are going to make under water,” said Perez.

The event started with just the divers and their families participating and grew into an extravaganza with games and an inflatable big screen so spectators could see a close-up of what the carvers were doing. There was even a camera man under the water filming the divers to broadcast for the whole audience.

“(It’s) good family fun,” said McJunkin.

Sheryl Robinson from Simi Valley and Cathi Pearson from Santa Clarita get their scuba gear ready for underwater pumpkin carving at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016 Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/For The Signal.
From left to right, Sheryl Robinson from Simi Valley and Cathi Pearson from Santa Clarita get their scuba gear ready for underwater pumpkin carving at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center on Saturday. Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/For The Signal.
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Underwater pumpkin carving makes a scene in SCV

Cathi Pearson from Santa Clarita gets her scuba gear ready for underwater pumpkin carving at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center on Saturday. Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/For The Signal

A 61-year-old, self-proclaimed “crazy clown” is in a bright-colored tutu scuba diving under the water while carving a pumpkin. No, this is not a nightmare akin to the new clown craze. It is quite the opposite.

This is the ninth annual Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center.

Around 250 people were expected to check out games, a photo booth, arts and crafts and most importantly, underwater pumpkin carving Saturday evening.

Those attending the contest vote for the winning pumpkin at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016 Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/For The Signal.
Those attending the contest vote for the winning pumpkin at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center on Saturday. Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/For The Signal.

“It’s turned into a sort of carnival for the whole family,” said Aquatic Specialist Pete McJunkin, who helped run the event.

Fifteen teams of two people participated in the spectator-judged carving contest.

One such person was Cathi Pearson, the “crazy clown” who has participated in this contest ever since its inception. With face makeup, a tutu and a tiny clown hat on her head, she was ready to carve a pumpkin under the water with her partner, Sheryl Robinson.

“It’s really different,” said Pearson. “It’s a hoot.”

She planned to carve both a bell pepper and pumpkin under the water then put the carved pepper in the pumpkin’s mouth.

Scuba divers in the water get ready to begin underwater pumpkin carving at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016. Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/For The Signal.
Scuba divers in the water get ready to begin underwater pumpkin carving at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center on Saturday. Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/For The Signal.

“I kind of did a combo of designs since I’m not an artist,” she said.

Walking around the pool were families checking out all the attractions while their costumed kids were in tow.

Dressed as a minion from the movie, Despicable Me, Jacob Perez, 5, was looking forward to seeing all the cool ideas the carvers had for their pumpkins.

“I want to see what face they are going to make under water,” said Perez.

The event started with just the divers and their families participating and grew into an extravaganza with games and an inflatable big screen so spectators could see a close-up of what the carvers were doing. There was even a camera man under the water filming the divers to broadcast for the whole audience.

“(It’s) good family fun,” said McJunkin.

Sheryl Robinson from Simi Valley and Cathi Pearson from Santa Clarita get their scuba gear ready for underwater pumpkin carving at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016 Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/For The Signal.
From left to right, Sheryl Robinson from Simi Valley and Cathi Pearson from Santa Clarita get their scuba gear ready for underwater pumpkin carving at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center on Saturday. Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/For The Signal.