Giant Pumpkin Regattas
Multiple Pumpkin Racing Events Every Fall!
It's the kind of thing one might experience in a dream. It makes no sense, but seems perfectly logical at the time. Once a year, Giant Pumpkins, some elaborately decorated, are gently lowered (sometimes by crane) into a river or lake, gutted, and... ridden?
It is the stuff of fairy tales. Cinderella did it, sort of, but she at least had the sense to stay dry. And while Linus did not ride in one in the Charlie Brown story, he did imagine one rising up from the ground. It's difficult to think of a giant pumpkin as anything more than a freak of nature, or perhaps an exaggerated symbol of fall harvest time. Yet, it has its appeal. What other fruit (or is it a vegetable?) could one grow and then ride in? How else to celebrate a fall harvest, than making an event out of the grandest of them all?
I am not a big fan of digging out pumpkins. The slimy gooey insides with all those slippery seeds are not a pleasant tactile experience I look forward to every year. I cannot imagine the horror of sliding my lower half into one, and then attempting to get it to propel me across the water. The pumpkin boats ride somewhat like a cross between a kayak and a bumper boat: low and clumsy.
In the month of October, there are numerous events centered on this pumpkin-sailing phenomenon of the Giant Pumpkin Regatta. Like the Polar Bear's last frolic in the ocean before heading into a long and icy winter, the townships and country folk in the land of giant pumpkins too have their fall fling before snow drives everyone indoors for the Holiday Season. Community spirit abounds, folks allow their silly to shine, and most of all, they create a good story to tell.
Photo by origamidon
Windsor-West Hants Pumpkin Regatta
Windsor, Nova Scotia, Canada
This is "Big Pumpkin Country"! Windsor claims to be the home of the original Pumpkin Regatta, having boasted a 4 time Guinness Book of Work Records Holder in Howard Dill from their parts. Dill created the internationally famous "Atlantic Giant Pumpkin Seeds". It was the son of Howard, Danny Dill, who got together with locals to increase awareness of the town's Great Pumpkin legacy, and held the first Regatta in 1999.
The Regatta takes place in Lake Pesaquid: Falmouth to Windsor. There are two heats: one for the motorized and experimental class, and another for the paddle class. Several events lead up to the race, starting with the Children's Wish Parade of Pumpkin Paddlers, where the paddlers march with their PVC's (Personal Vegetable Crafts). Local store owners help organize a "Mad Gourd Scavenger Hunt", and chef's celebrate with a Chili Challenge. Musicians and Vendors, along with plenty of spectators, line the waterfront for the big event.
Photo by origamidon
Each year, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch that he thinks is the most sincere. He's gotta pick this one. He's got to. I don't see how a pumpkin patch can be more sincere than this one. You can look around and there's not a sign of hypocrisy. Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see.
Charles Schultz: "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown"
Great Pumpkin Patch
Waiting for the Great Pumpkin
Piscataquog River Race
A Goffstown Tradition
This annual Goffstown Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off and Regatta event lasts for a whole weekend, and the regatta includes giant pumpkins fitted with outboard motors. It all started in 2000 with Sawzalls instead of pumpkin blades, and captains in costume. While the pumpkins were not decorated at that time, the event has involved into fully decorated giant pumpkin boats of the most outrageous kind!
One October weekend in the fall, Southern New Hampshire's Piscataquog River becomes the field for all who dare to venture in. The first four boats are always manned by local police, local firefighters, Goffstown selectmen and the Main Street Program.
The weekend is a community celebration of festivities, such as: a pumpkin hunt, St Matthews church flea market, Lions club cook-off, fried dough from the Main Street program and Rotary Club Hot dogs. The event was originally proposed by Jim Beauchemin, founder of the New Hampshire Giant Pumpkin Growers Association.
Great Pumpkin Stuff!
Love this! Wild Rumpus!
"This is a true test of man versus nature. I mean, you see people getting into ... upwards of 900-pound pumpkins. It's just sheer brute strength that some of these pumpkins are getting across the lake.”
Windsor Organizer Vanessa Roberts
The Giant Pumpkin Regatta & Festival, on the Burlington Waterfront - Burlington, VT
The Burlington Regatta does it in big style, with Different teams of racers. Pumpkin sponsors, local celebrities, media personalities, students, and more teams paddle giant thousand-pound plus hollowed out pumpkin "boats" on Lake Champlain to compete for the Giant Pumpkin Trophy!
The Regatta List - And other resources
- Lake Champlain, Burlington Vermont
Great Pumpkin Regatta - The First Annual Giant Pumpkin Regatta, sponsored by The Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, pits the regions giant gourd growers and local businesses against each other in what is a competition of size and speed. Whi
- Pumpkin-paddling headmaster wins Windsor regatta - Nova Scotia - CBC News
The headmaster of King's-Edgehill School has won the 13th annual Pumpkin Regatta in Windsor, Nova Scotia.
- The Giant Pumpkin Party - Elk Grove Giant Pumpkin & Harvest Festival - October 4 & 5 - Elk G
Cosumnes Community Services District Giant Pumpkin Party - Elk Grove Giant Pumpkin and Harvest Festival - October 4 and 5 2008 - Elk Grove Regional Park
- Sanford ME video: Giant Pumpkin Regatta, Sanford, Maine
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