It’s not everyday that you get to race a giant pumpkin in a Maine harbor. But a few weeks ago I had the opportunity to do just that. The Chew sent me to Damariscotta, Maine to their annual Pumpkin Regatta where they get local growers to bring their crop of giant pumpkins, core them and make them in to sea faring vessels!
It is pumpkinpalooza there, they do everything from eat pumpkin pies (here I am in a pumpkin pie eating contest)
decorate them and display them on their main street, hurl them at cars with a giant cannon and turn them in to boats. People in Damariscotta are wild about pumpkins!!!!
When I first got to the place where the pumpkin boats were being made most of the pumpkins were in their natural state, all on palettes so that they can be moved around by a forklift. There is NO possible way to lift these guys up by hand.
Bill, the boat builder and my fearless guide on this voyage, had already arranged to have my 480 pound beauty transformed into The Chew logo’s Granny Smith apple. They did this by creating a stem out of a branch, and the top of the apple out of styrofoam. Then it was painted with a white primer so that it was ready for Chew green!
To move Shirley, that was the name of my 480 pound pumpkin, around, we needed a mini forklift, though I asked a few times I wasn’t able to drive it. Next time…
A local artist Katharina helped create the sweet vision!
Nearby even LARGER pumpkins were being prepared for the motor boat division, yes they strap on high powered motors to these babies and do 5 laps across the harbor! This is me and Tom, whose mascot is a wandering gnome (no relation) posing in front of his boat that he named Paris 680.
Shirley got lifted up into a truck and brought over to the harbor for the start of the race.
Now it was time to see if she was seaworthy… And she was!!!!!
My neighbor and competitor was a 10 year old Riley that had an INCREDIBLE pumpkin boat made to look like a lighthouse. His boat was sponsored by the Maine Maritime Museum.
Another pumpkin was decorated to look like a honey pot and they painted yellow balloons to look like a swarm of bees!
A pretty substantial crowd had gathered including a local crew stationed on a crane that wanted to the get the full panoramic view.
Once I was all suited up it was time to start the race!
I was in third place right out of the gate, right behind the honey bear, sans bees.
After the honey pot proved to small for my male competitor and he subsequently capsized into the 50 degree waters, I came in 3rd place! And was awarded a trophy!!
Next year the ENTIRE Chew Crew plans to attend the races in Damariscotta, I think they were a little jealous of all the fun I had 😉