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Damariscotta Pumpkinfest and Regatta

October 16th, 2010

When Mr Chiots and I were driving from Acadia National Park down to Freeport we passed through the small town of Damariscotta, Maine. As we were passing through, they were moving giant pumpkins around on forklifts. We were marveling at the size of all the pumpkins and then it hit me that this might just be the town we saw on TV once that raced gigantic pumpkins in the bay.

When we got to our campground later that night, we googled it and sure enough, the town of Damariscotta has a yearly Pumpkin Festival that includes a Pumpkin Regatta. We changed our vacation plans to head up and witness the giant pumpkin races. I mean how often are you only 45 minutes away from such a wonderful festival?

We arrived in Damariscotta early on Sunday morning. The streets were packed, there were decorated pumpkins all over the town and all the businesses were featuring pumpkin flavored treats.

After walking around the town looking at all the pumpkins we made our way down to the bay to get good seats for the regatta. We were so glad we got their early when we saw how many people showed up for this event.

The boats were great, all creatively decorated (is it called a boat when it’s really a pumpkin?). There were two classes, the human propelled and the super modified with small outboard motors. Amazingly only one guy went over, we were expecting to see more. By far, the best part of the regatta was the announcer, it was perhaps one of the funniest hours I’ve experienced in a LONG time. Mr Chiots got a lot of video and if he puts it up on-line I’ll make sure I let you know!

Of course we couldn’t leave without stopping at the gelato place for Mr Chiots to get a pumpkin gelato affogato. We had to eat something pumpkin flavored at this festival! (affogato is freshly brewed espresso poured over gelato)

We had a great time at the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest. If you’re ever in Maine around Columbus Day weekend I’d highly recommend going and make sure you don’t miss the regatta. They also have fun events like: pumpkin chucking, pumpkin dropping, a parade, seed saving and other wonderful things all week long.

Have you ever attended a crazy festival? What’s your favorite festival with local flair?

16 Comments to “Damariscotta Pumpkinfest and Regatta”
  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by mark mile, Susy Morris. Susy Morris said: Damariscotta #Pumpkinfest #miscellaneus #crazyfestivals […]

    Reply to Tweets that mention Damariscotta Pumpkinfest | Chiot’s Run —'s comment

  2. Millie on October 16, 2010 at 6:40 am

    O h my gosh. Who would have ever thought of it. Very cool.

    Reply to Millie's comment

  3. Beegirl on October 16, 2010 at 8:52 am

    This looks like so much fun! Did you love Acadia?? I’d love to see it someday.. Oh, the toucan boat with the motor was my favorite!

    Reply to Beegirl's comment

  4. kristin @ going country on October 16, 2010 at 9:24 am

    My first date with my husband was to the Ostrich Festival in Chandler, AZ. I should’ve known then what I was in for with him.

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

  5. Sandy on October 16, 2010 at 9:55 am

    How cool. Don’t you love when you stumble upon something that great. I’m thrown back at the weight of that largest pumpkin. And of the boats I’d have to say the puffin is my favorite.

    Reply to Sandy's comment

  6. Amy on October 16, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Delightful post~Ms. Susy:)

    Reply to Amy's comment

  7. deb on October 16, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    That is awesome!! I LOVE the pumpkin regatta. That must have been a riot to watch.

    Reply to deb's comment

  8. Miranda on October 16, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    So. Awesome.
    I had no idea you could make a boat out of a pumpkin. Amazing.

    Reply to Miranda's comment

  9. Lona on October 16, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    It looks like such fun. I think I saw those pumpkin boats on TV. Our Pumpkin Show starts next week and I want to attend since it has been a few years. Hopefully the weather will cooperate. They have everything made with pumpkin at it too. I always have to bring home some pumpkin fudge. LOL! Your fest has some terrific decorated pumpkins also and that is one big pumpkin!

    Reply to Lona's comment

  10. Helen on October 17, 2010 at 5:08 am

    How amazing, as far as I’m aware here in the Uk the most they do is compete on weight which is quite boring really. Almost makes me want to plan a trip over the pond just to witness it!

    Reply to Helen's comment

  11. Stephanie Suesan Smith on October 17, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    The town where my parents live is known for its’ peaches. Every summer, they have a peach festival where all things made of peaches compete for prizes. No boats, alas, as peaches don’t lend themselves to that, but some truly unusual peach flavored food.

    Reply to Stephanie Suesan Smith's comment

  12. Seren Dippity on October 17, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Anytime we are on vacation we search out the local festivals to see what we can include. Our favorite are things specific to the area or art festivals and we love Renaissance Festivals no matter where we are. When in Oregon a few summers ago we went to a Fairy Festival that was so much fun. A big joke on us was when we went to North Carolina and the International Festival there was highlighting, of all places – Mexico. Being from Texas we didn’t consider that very exotic! As DH said “I didn’t need to travel thousands of miles to see another pinate!”

    Reply to Seren Dippity's comment

  13. amy manning on October 20, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    How fun!

    Reply to amy manning's comment

  14. Mexicali Blues on October 21, 2010 at 10:37 am

    I just want to let you know I love your coverage of this event; your pictures are gorgeous! It’s awesome that you just happened upon the Pumpkinfest! Damariscotta is surprisingly full of strange little festivals like that for such a tiny town (Pirate Rendezvous, Oyesterfest). Glad you had a good time!

    We built and raced the reggae-blasting blue pumpkin-boat with the rasta flag; it was definitely interesting (not to mention super fun!) participating in the Pumpkinfest in that capacity!

    Reply to Mexicali Blues's comment

    • Susy on October 21, 2010 at 8:40 pm

      We got some great video footage of your boat taking first place in the super modified class race, congrats on your win.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  15. […] Damariscotta Pumpkinfest featuring pumpkins baked into to food and made into boats (for more read my post about it on my […]

    Reply to Sunday Photos…Pumpkins, Pumpkins, Pumpkins « Not Dabbling In Normal's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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