Pumpkin Carving Contest Takes Political Turn

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KEY LARGO (CBSMiami/FKNB) – A whimsical jack-o-lantern, representing undecided voters in the upcoming presidential election, won top honors at the Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest held Sunday in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

Jana Vandelaar and her daughter Jacqueline, 13, of Key Largo, added large round eyes and outstretched hands to their carved pumpkin to symbolize the dilemma of “who should we vote for” that seems to be confounding many Americans with the election less then a month away.

Jacqueline Vandelaar, center, and Julie Botteri, right, wrap a pumpkin with a Donald Trump mask while Jana Vandelaar, left, completes an entry symbolizing America's undecided presidential election voters, at the Underwater Pumpkin Carving contest Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016, in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary off Key Largo. (Bob Care/Florida Keys News Bureau)

Jacqueline Vandelaar, center, and Julie Botteri, right, wrap a pumpkin with a Donald Trump mask while Jana Vandelaar, left, completes an entry symbolizing America’s undecided presidential election voters, at the Underwater Pumpkin Carving contest Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016, in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary off Key Largo. (Bob Care/Florida Keys News Bureau)

When completed, their creation rested on the sea floor 30 feet below the surface, amid other carved pumpkins including two with rubber masks portraying Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump, dubbed “Howl-ary Clinton” and “Donald Trumpkin.”

Creative artists of all ages submerged with knives to pare facial features, accessorizing their orange gourds as they carved, surrounded by the Florida Keys coral reef and fish.

Participating divers were challenged to keep the hollowed-out, naturally buoyant pumpkins from floating off while they carved their works of art.

The annual contest, put on by the Amoray Dive Resort before Halloween each October, took place near Elbow Reef about six miles off Key Largo.

The Florida Keys News Bureau contributed to this report.

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