Man honors father with spectacular pumpkin display

By  | 

RICHLAND CENTER, Wis.(WMTV) It’s a craft you only see once a year, and for Tom Fowell it’s a favorite time of year.

"I’ve been roughly doing this for the last 14 years. So, literally half my life,” said Fowell.

Tom intertwines a love of pop culture with his talent for carving. Every year, he displays dozens of jack-o-latterns outside his Richland Center home during the week leading up to Halloween.

"It started growing and growing into this massive display every year," said Fowell.

From Game of Thrones, to Beauty and the Beast, he can carve just about anything you can imagine.

The goal this Halloween is more than 80 pumpkins. In years past, Tom said it’s a site most trick-or-treaters can't pass up.

"We’re like come out for trick-or-treat. They came and ‘oooh’ they were overwhelmed," said Fowell.

Fowell said in 2016, his yard welcomed approximately 500 trick-or-treaters and more than 2,000 onlookers. It’s something he wishes he could share with the man who started it all.

"When pumpkin carving comes around, is when I really think about Dad,” said Fowell.

Carving is a tradition Tom began as a teenager with his father, Bob.

"He was obsessed with Halloween," said Fowell about his dad.

Tom said he never wanted to scare anyone; simply, he wanted to make them smile. Bob died four years-ago.

"I had the thought, well do I still do the pumpkins, or do I not have the heart to do this? But I knew dad would appreciate it," said Fowell.

While the pumpkin display is a tribute to his father, Tom acknowledges it’s taking on new meaning.

"We’re kind of starting to do it for us to," said Fowell about him and his mother.

But it will forever be a tradition, carved into his memory, and the memory of thousands who come to watch.

"As long as we keep Dad’s memory with it, I’m a very happy camper,” said Fowell.

Tom’s pumpkins will be displayed from 7pm-10pm through Halloween. The display will be at 189 E. 6th St. in Richland Center. The display is weather permitting, and the pumpkins are brought inside after 10pm.