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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?

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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.