Each Fall, a Town in Oregon Races Pumpkin 'Boats' Across a Lake
Forget jack-o'-lanterns or pies—the residents of Tualatin, Oregon turn their pumpkins into boats.
Last weekend, the city 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 last weekend, Oregon Live reports.
Twenty-one individuals attempted the 2015 Regatta—a physical feat that, despite its whimsical nature, one frustrated rower described to Oregon Live as “brutal” and “exhausting.” Apparently pumpkins don’t make the most seaworthy boats. However, that doesn't stop people from trying. 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.
Check out some pictures taken from this year's festivities below.
All photos courtesy of Scott Marx.