Giant Inflatable Pumpkin Escapes, Terrorizes Phoenix

Giant gourd broke free from its restraints, wreaking havoc on city streets
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 30, 2015 2:10 PM CDT

It's the Great Untethered Pumpkin, Arizona! Halloween tricks came early for some drivers and pedestrians in the Phoenix area Thursday when a giant inflatable pumpkin bounded down the roadway in high winds. The 25-foot-tall, 350-pound pumpkin escaped from its display promoting the Peoria Sports Complex's Monster Bash, sailing down the streets as spectators frantically tried to track down Big AZ Promotions, the pumpkin's owners, 12 News reports. "We showed up and it wasn't there ... we spent 40 minutes driving around looking for it," Patrick Sparkes of Big AZ tells the station. Sparkes finally spotted it, noting he "was so shocked to see that it was like bouncing like a basketball all the way down the road."

The giant gourd had quite a journey, based on eyewitness reports: First it crossed multiple lanes of traffic and got stuck under a streetlight; then it broke free once more, bounced over a wall, traversed a business parking lot, and finally set down in a park. Peoria officials say it wasn't vandalism but windy weather that sent the jack-o'-lantern on its trip. No one was injured, though two streetlights and the pumpkin needed a few repairs. "Oh my God, I didn't know it was going to go that far," Sparkes tells 12 News. (Brings back fond memories of our old friend the runaway blimp.)

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