Pulaski woman has a passion for Halloween
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[November 03, 2016]
PULASKI - This is Rene Hubal’s time of year. The Mount Pulaski woman
truly enjoys everything about Halloween. From the pumpkin carving,
to the yard decorations, to the passing out of giant Hershey Bars
and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Hubal says she saves all year for
The self-taught pumpkin carver has been at it for over 20 years
and her love for this hobby just keeps growing. Not only does she
spend a great deal of time devoted to carving real pumpkins, but she
also has taken an interest in carving artificial pumpkins called
funkins. Her pumpkin carving talents have even earned her a national
The woman who sports the word “Haunted” on her license plate
explains, “About a year after my son Tyler was born, I started
carving pumpkins.” Hubal and her husband, Ed, lived in Decatur at
the time. Tyler is now 23 years old and the father to Hubal’s only
Shortly after she picked up the carving tools, she started entering
a national contest for pumpkin carving. “Ever since 2000 I have won
in it,” she said. “In 2007 I won out of everybody in the United
States. It took a long time to get there, but I did.” That national
contest was called The Pumpkin Masters Contest and sadly it was
cancelled in 2008. When Hubal won the entire contest in 2007, she
won $2,000 for one pumpkin alone that year.
She went on to explain that the contest always featured six
different categories: animals, themes, scenes, faces, shadows and
lettering. Of course, Hubal would always carve a pumpkin for each
category. Her grand total in winnings in 2007 was $2,750.
This fall Hubal’s passion kept her busy and made a lot of local
folks happy. You see, Hubal was carving funkins and selling them to
anybody and everybody around town. Word of mouth of her creativity
spread quickly throughout town. She basically can create whatever
design you want. She’s done a variety of sports teams, like the
Cardinals and Packers, business logos and Halloween themes.
Her funkin featuring the logo of Industry Fitness of Mount Pulaski
was particularly impressive. If needed she could do a Chicago Cubs
World Series funkin.
“It’s a hobby every year and people start ordering pumpkins from me
at the beginning of August. I actually have four more orders after
Halloween is over and they will be Christmas gifts,” said Hubal.
According to Hubal, funkins are made of some kind of very durable
foam found at hobby stores. She sells her funkins for $65.
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On Halloween night she had approximately 36 funkins and pumpkins on display at
her house, located at 302 West Jefferson Street, in addition to various scary
displays. “Every year we try to add something new to the display,” said Hubal,
who also works at Johnson True Value Hardware in Mount Pulaski.
For the woman who simply loves Halloween, her passion has turned into a
profitable little hobby and put a lot of smiles on the faces of people who also
share her love for the fall holiday.