Pumpkin Boats Set Sail at Regatta

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Pumpkin weigh-offs are a tradition all across the nation, but what do the pumpkin growers do with their work once it has been weighed?

On Saturday, October 17, 2015, the community gathered in Sugarhouse, Utah to watch and participate in one way pumpkin growers dispose of their pumpkins, an Enormous Pumpkin Regatta. The pumpkin race was held at the Sugar House Park Pond and was hosted by the Mountain Valley Seed Company and this is their fifth time organizing this Halloween event.

The participants had giant pumpkins that were used as boats to race across the pond. Each racer hollowed out a pumpkin that would be large enough to hold their body. The pumpkins were able to float because they were hollow, but steering the “ship” was not as easy for them. It has become a tradition in the Salt Lake area and some participants prepare their pumpkins for months not only to grow the heaviest pumpkin, but also to ensure they are regatta ready.

The community takes extra precaution when they try to get the pumpkins into the pond. To ensure the pumpkins wouldn’t become damaged before the race, they were hoisted into the pond by a forklift.

In addition, all of the pumpkin riders dressed up in Halloween costumes. Some were pirates, sailors, ninja turtles, or leprechauns.

Pumpkin Regattas occur all over the United States every year. Some pumpkins weigh over 1000 pounds before they are hollowed out for the race. These races have occurred in Oregon, Washington, Maine, and many others. In other regattas across the nation many individuals not only dress up themselves for the event, they “dress up” their pumpkin boat as well. Many paint or add decoration to their large pumpkins and at times they make it coordinate with their costume.

According to the Oregon Fall Festival, their winner gets mega Halloween bragging rights for years to come. At the Sugar House Park Pond they gave out a prize to the winner of the race.

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