last weekend, the residents of tualatin, oregon held its annual west coast giant pumpkin regatta—a quirky annual october event in which participants dress in costumes, hollow giant gourds into makeshift vessels, and paddle them across a local lake.
the oversized squash are generously provided by the pacific giant vegetable growers, a regional group of gardeners who promote the cultivation of “obscenely large, healthy vegetables.” (this year, one of their offerings tipped the scale at 1,794.5 pounds.)
after the pumpkins are measured in a “terminator weigh off,” they’re cut open, scooped out, and transformed into tiny watercrafts.
contestants climb into them, take to the water, and engage in a series of races—that is, if their boats don’t start leaking, which happened to at least one contestant.
twenty-one individuals attempted the 2015 regatta—a physical feat that, despite its whimsical nature, one frustrated rower described to as “brutal” and “exhausting.” now in its 12th incarnation, the regatta drew thousands of onlookers, who enjoyed pie-eating contests, costume competitions, and live entertainment while they weren’t watching others flail around in the water.
“i would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself,
than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”
― henry david thoreau
credits: mental floss magazine, oregon live