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CALABASAS : Vandals Destroy Inflatable Pumpkin

For the second year in a row, vandals have shredded a 30-foot-wide inflatable jack-o'-lantern erected to promote next month’s Pumpkin Festival in Calabasas, organizers of the event said Monday.

The crumpled husk of the pumpkin was found by festival staff member Scott Cullins Saturday morning atop a hill north of the Ventura Freeway and east of Parkway Calabasas, where its illuminated form had been the night before.

The jack-o'-lantern’s smiling face was ripped top to bottom, Cullins said, and its generator-powered fan had been stolen.

Calabasas Days/Pumpkin Festival Chairman Alan Ungar said organizers did not report the vandalism to sheriff’s deputies “because they are busy with more serious crimes.”

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There are no suspects, Ungar said.

The vandalism was similar to damage done to the balloon after it was first set up last year, about two miles away, he said.

“It’s really discouraging,” Ungar said.

“Our festival is set in the Old West, but it’s about having a new spirit of volunteerism,” he said. “There is no machismo and no guns, so this act is really something that goes against what the festival is all about.”

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Calabasas Days staff may organize a fund-raiser to replace the $3,000 pumpkin and generator before the Oct. 23-24 event, Ungar said.


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