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Underwater Pumpkin Carving-Halloween Tradition for Dive Buddies

Pumpkin carving is part of the Halloween tradition but doing it underwater is unique. For 27 years the Minnesota School of Diving has hosted an underwater pumpkin-carving contest on the last fun dive of the season, which is the weekend before Halloween. Through the years, up to 30 Scuba divers have participated and usually about 16 carve a pumpkin. According to the Minnesota School of Diving owner and founder, Bill Matthies, the contest is always in the Cuyuna Country Recreation Area and has two main categories. For the first category, a diver may only use their diver’s knife and the second category is for pumpkins carved with special carving tools. Prizes are given each year, which vary from the pumpkin that looks the most like the divemaster in charge of the contest to the scariest appearing. This year, dive buddies Paula Persons and Leslie Kopietz carved pumpkins with several divers just enjoying the last fun dive of the season Saturday surrounded by snow-covered hills.