DUBLIN, Ohio — You can see Donald Trump’s face almost everywhere this campaign season. Here’s proof.
Jeanette Paras painted a caricature of the GOP presidential candidate onto a larger-than-life pumpkin. The giant “Trumpkin,” as she calls him, weighs in at 374 pounds and took 10 hours to create.
Paras has been turning giant pumpkins into caricatures of celebrities and other noteworthy people since 1988.
“I just ‘pumpkinize’ whoever is visible in the media over the time,” said the Dublin, Ohio, resident.
Last year, she painted a 384-pound pumpkin with the likeness of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Previous years’ pumpkin guests include: Miley Cyrus as a wrecking ball, Phil Robertson from “Duck Dynasty,” Lady Gaga, Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, and many more.
Trump was an obvious front-runner this year, as he’s driving much of the talk around the 2016 presidential election, she said.
“He’s just everywhere,” Paras said. “There were some other characters under consideration, which I can’t tell you.”
She even took Trumps slogan of “Make America great again” and changed it to match what the giant pumpkin Trump would say. “Make pumpkins great again,” reads a sign on Paras’ front lawn.
Paras, who says she’s not an artist, doesn’t sell her creations. She paints these giant pumpkins each year because it’s fun. It’s something she does to bring laughter and delight to the people who come see her creations.
The grand pumpkin idea came to Paras and her husband one year after the visited the Circleville Pumpkin Show in central Ohio. The agriculture show kicks off with a weigh-in of the largest pumpkins grown in the area.
One year, the couple bought some “small” 70-pounders at the show and took them home to carve. The task was too great, so Paras’s husband asked his wife to draw on the gourd instead.
What started as caricatures of Mike Dukakis and George Bush transformed into a tradition that Paras hasn’t stopped since.
As the pumpkins have gotten larger, Paras has had to find new spots to score such big ones. Some local growers have given Paras the pumpkins for free, while other years she’s paid for them.
Matching the celebrity to the shape of the pumpkin is the hardest part of the process, she said. The Jay Leno pumpkin needed a big chin. The Kim Jong Un pumpkin needed to fit the leader’s head shape.
Paras laughs a lot and her passion comes through to anyone who hears about why she’s pumpkin-crazed.
“Anything you can do in life that people can enjoy just for a moment is special. It cracks me up so that’s why I do it,” she said.