Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Maine Minutiae : Pumpkins Ahoy?

The state of Maine has a long (and I mean a long) history with boats and boating. Bath, Maine is called The City of Ships for cryin' out loud. One reason why this is so is Bath Iron Works. BIW built 83 destroyers for the US Navy...and that was just in World War II! You take that kind of boat building skill and a giant pumpkin and what do you get? The Damariscotta Pumpkinfest and Regatta! I'm sure you get the "pumpkinfest" part of that, but "regatta"? First to the "pumpkin" part. I got this from the event's website with the results of the 2009 Damariscotta Pumpkinfest and Regatta :

"Highlights of last year’s festival included a big parade complete with Maine’s new record pumpkin (weighing 1,210 pounds!) and its grower Elroy Morgan and Togus the Cat.  The Pumpkin Dessert Contest had 18 fine entries – all available for tasting.  There were tons of children’s games and a free matinĂ©e.  24 giant pumpkins were carved, painted, or both, by artists of all ages.  Pumpkins of various sizes were thrown, hurled, shot, and dropped thanks to record-holding punkin chunkers and catapulters, and a 150-foot crane taking aim on a retired police cruiser!" Imagine the fun! I mean, you've got kids' games, a parade, punkin chunkin' and pumpkin desserts. All of those activities are well and good, but it's the "regatta" part of the festival's name that piqued my curiosity. I immediately thought of sail boats, lobster boats and whatnot, but, boy, was I wrong. The "regatta" is for pumpkin boats! Look closely at the embedded photo. Those two people are pump-kayaking! There will also be motorized pumpkin boats! I have mentioned before that Mainers are a hardy and creative bunch, but this makes everything else innovative and creative about Maine seem like child's play. You gotta love something like this. Just think...if Gilligan and the other castaways had only discovered pumpkins on that desert isle, TV history would turned out much differently. And we'd have Damariscotta, Maine to thank for it.

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