It isn't too early to be thinking about a visit to Newcastle Inn in October. No list of things to do in Maine is complete without including the Damariscotta Region Pumpkinfest and Regatta, which occurs yearly over Columbus Day Weekend. The festival includes some unusual activities that make this event the Great Pumpkin of pumpkin festivals.
Of course there’s the usual parade, pumpkin dessert and pie-eating contest, music, street food and games for the youngsters. But there aren’t many (any?) pumpkin festivals that include pumpkins being shot from a cannon, pumpkins dropped from 180-foot high crane onto junked cars, and boat races featuring watercraft made from, uh, pumpkins. https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=993v0viNQ6k
The official dates for this year’s Pumpkinfest and Regatta are October 10-13, so why not plan a visit and stay at Newcastle Inn? The inn is almost full for the weekend but there are a few rooms left. If you get your fill of pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins and pumpkin cheesecake, you’ll be able to explore Midcoast Maine as fall colors cover our trees and forests.
The unofficial beginning of Pumpkinfest occurs the weekend before when pumpkin growers from all over come to town for the weigh-off. The bragging rights for the biggest pumpkins are great, but there are cash prizes totaling $10,000, too. With all of those huge pumpkins in town, the only thing to do is display them in front of our local businesses during the festival weekend. Festival-goers will be able to feast their eyes on all sorts of pumpkins decorated and painted by local artists.
There are many other events to keep visitors busy and entertained. Youngsters may enjoy a pumpkin hunt (think Easter eggs, only orange and a little larger). There’s a pumpkin derby to determine the fastest pumpkin on four wheels. You can catch a ride on the “Pumpkin Express” train between Brunswick and Rockland or participate in the YMCA Zombie Run on Saturday, October 11.
The featured musical performer during Pumpkinfest will be The Peterson Project, and there will be appearances by the Horseshoe Crabs and the Wicked Blues Band. For complete details on all of the Pumpkinfest activities, visit the event website, DamariscottaPumpkinfest.com.