Halloween came early for drivers and pedestrians as a giant, inflatable pumpkin emerged from a group of trees before bouncing through a Peoria intersection and down the roadway in video captured on Thursday.
12 News viewer Diego Ramirez caught the pumpkin's journey on video near Peoria High School, by 83rd Avenue and Peoria.
The video shows the 25-foot-tall, 350-pound orange jack-o'-lantern roll every which way and even across multiple lanes of traffic before it got stuck beneath a streetlight pole. It then broke free and rolled off into the distance to enjoy its freedom, but the chase to capture it was on.
"I was so shocked to see that it was like bouncing like a basketball all the way down the road," Patrick Sparkes with Big AZ Promotions said.
Big AZ Promotions, the owners of the pumpkin, didn't know what to expect when they got the call that their pumpkin was on the loose.
"We showed up and it wasn't there and we spent the last 40 minutes driving around looking for it," Sparkes said.
After the pumpkin got free from the streetlight pole it traveled about a quarter of a mile by bouncing over a wall, rolling through a business parking lot and eventually getting stuck in a neighborhood park.
"Like, oh my God, I didn't know it was going to go that far," Sparkes said.
City officials said that the pumpkin broke free from a Halloween display promoting the Peoria Monster Bash at the Peoria Sports Complex. Officials say that the pumpkin got loose because of strong winds in the area.
But Big AZ Promotions employees said the pumpkin's windy accomplice must have been strong indeed.
"This is so heavy, and the straps, it just like ripped the rings out, went rolling down the streets," Shayne Smith with Big AZ Promotions said.
Their job now is to repair the giant pumpkin.
Luckily, nobody was injured in the great pumpkin escape, but it did damage street lights in the intersection of 83rd and Grand avenues, but those have now been repaired.