Magically transforming a pumpkin into a mode of transportation is something that only happens in fairy tales. Or so I thought. Welcome to my fifth piece in my segment of the Twelve Days of Pumpkin, inspired by CBC Ottawa Morning’s Stu Mills.
Once upon a time, 11 years ago, a very special Regatta took place on Lake Pesaquid, just outside Windsor, Nova Scotia. And, I’m not saying “special”, as in, clasp-your-hands-to-your-heart-type-special, I’m talking, seriously-dude-what-are-you-smoking-type-special. This regatta stipulates that your only means of flotation must be – just as you might have guessed – a pumpkin! Naturally, this would not be your average pumpkin selected with pride, pleasure and plenty of photo ops at the neighbourhood pumpkin patch. We’re talking about only those kinds of pumpkins that four-time Guinness Book of World Records holder and developer of massive pumpkins, Howard Dill and similar folk, can produce.
Now in its 11th year (that’s right, this is not a fluke in the universe), there are three (3) divisions in which one can enter their – er – personal vegetable craft (PVC): motor, experimental and paddling. Paddling remains the favourite event because no one has figured out exactly what “experimental” means, or if it is in fact, legal. This past Canadian Thanksgiving, close to ten thousand spectators came out to watch 43 entrants paddle the 800 metre (1/2 mile) course. It would appear that only 33 PVCs completed the course, however, adding to the danger element of this event. No doubt the waiver includes wording like, “Event organizers are not responsible for any harm or wrongdoing resulting from The Kraken rising from the deep …”
Two things you really want to know about this event:
- After nine years as the reigning pumpkin regatta champ, Leo Swinamer must have finally spring a leak in his pumpkin (that could be Maritime-speak for he kicked the bucket, I’m not exactly sure), for he has not won since 2007. Headmaster of King’s-Edgehill School, Joe Seagram won in 2011 (so clearly the message here is that we seriusly need to know what goes on during “free periods” at that school!).
- Martha Stewart, herself, entered this race in 2005. No, really! She did! Here is a picture of the very Stewartesque pumpkin that was entered. She was not able to attend, however, partly due to inclement weather but also because of passport processing delays resulting from her incarceration. I would seriously reconsider my Thanksgiving plans if she were to enter again – and I think my family would understand!
So ladies and gentlemen, mark your calendars for October 14, 2012 for next year’s Pumpkin Regatta in beautiful Atlantic Canada. In fact, why not enter your own craft? It’s only $25. BYOP of course – and get there before midnight, otherwise your pumpkin will morph into a beautiful horse-drawn carriage. And frankly, what good will that do you?
I swear to God, this installment could have been titled Leave it to those Canucks!
Coming up next in my series? I seriously have no idea what other weird pumpkin stories I can come up with but clearly, they’re out there!!