No list of things to do in Maine is complete without including the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta, which occurs yearly on Columbus Day Weekend. The festival includes some unusual activities that make this event the Great Pumpkin of pumpkin festivals.
Of course there’s the usual parade, pumpkin dessert and pie-eating contest, music, street food and games for the youngsters. But there aren’t many (any?) pumpkin festivals that include pumpkins being shot from a cannon, pumpkins dropped from 180-foot high crane onto junked cars, and boat races featuring watercraft made from, uh, pumpkins.
The official dates for this year’s Pumpkinfest and Regatta are Oct. 10-13, so why not plan a visit and stay at the Newcastle Inn? We’re nearly booked for the weekend already. If you get your fill of pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins and pumpkin cheesecake, you’ll be able to explore Midcoast Maine as fall colors cover our trees and forests.
The unofficial beginning of Pumpkinfest occurs the weekend before when pumpkin growers from all over come to town for the weigh-off. The bragging rights for the biggest pumpkins are great, but there are cash prizes totaling $10,000, too. With all of those huge pumpkins in town, the only thing to do is display them in front of our local businesses during the festival weekend. Festival-goers will be able to feast their eyes on all sorts of pumpkins decorated and painted by local artists.
There are many other events to keep visitors busy and entertained. Youngsters may enjoy a pumpkin hunt (think Easter eggs, only orange and a little larger). There’s a pumpkin derby to determine the fastest pumpkin on four wheels. You can catch a ride on the “Pumpkin Express” train between Brunswick and Rockland or participate in the YMCA Zombie Run on Saturday, Oct. 11.
The featured musical performer during Pumpkinfest will be The Peterson Project, and there will be appearances by the Horseshoe Crabs and the Wicked Blues Band. For complete details on all of the Pumpkinfest activities, visit the event website, DamariscottaPumpkinfest.com.