The annual pumpkin festival is this coming October 10th to 14th. There’s a full list of events on the festival’s website. Some of the more popular events include:
Artists at Work: Giant Pumpkin Carving/Painting Friday
Each year, local Maine artists more than meet the challenge of decorating sixty to seventy Atlantic Giant Pumpkins which are displayed in downtown Damariscotta & Newcastle during Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta™. The results are extraordinary and bring thousands of viewers from New England and beyond. Energetic and creative Maine artists are again sought this year to transform the new crop of giant pumpkins into whimsical, fabulous works of art.
The giant fruits are delivered on pallets, and are available for carving, painting and decorating on Friday of Columbus Day weekend. The size of the pumpkins, subject to the vagaries of Mother Nature, range anywhere from “Jack-O-Lantern” (about 200 pounds), to “Great Pumpkin” (about 400 pounds), up to “Maxima” (600-1,200 pounds). They stand about four feet tall, if September has favorable growing conditions.
The pumpkins remain out and on display all week long.
Giant Pumpkin Catapult & Pumpkin Sling Shot Fun
October 13 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Come watch Giant Pumpkin Sling Shot Fun at CRCT’s Round Top Farm!
Airborne pumpkins are an all natural source of fun at Pumpkinfest – whether sling-shotted, catapulted, dropped, trebucheted, or otherwise launched – so come see the gourds as they fly through the air.
Free to watch, $5 for 6 slingshot pumpkin shots. $10 for each catapult pull.
Giant Pumpkin Drop
October 13 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Visitors can thrill to the sight of huge Atlantic Giant Pumpkins being dropped from a 180’ crane onto junk cars and into inflatable swimming pools. In the green-spirit of recycling, the splattered pumpkin pulp is gathered for eventual pig feed at a local farm, and the previously junked-cars are recycled as scrap metal.
The renowned rock band “Nikki Hunt Band” will be performing free from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. at the Hunt & Drop, so come early and enjoy their great sound !!
The Giant Pumpkin Drop immediately follows the Pumpkin Hunt.
Damariscotta Pumpkinfest – Pumpkinboat Regatta
October 14 @ 12:00 pm
The Regatta will take place when high tide allows each year. For 2019, that will be at 12:00 noon, with a Free Concert by The Gulch at Water Street from 10:00am-11:30am. Needless to say, those 600# pumpkinboats need HIGH TIDE to be able to float & go really fast!
There are 2 divisions in the regatta: the “Paddleboat” and the “Powerboat” Divisions. Paddleboat races consist of several heats, with a final overall heat to determine the winner. Depending on participation, there also may be a relay team contest.
The “Newscaster’s Challenge” will be held again in 2019, with competitive relay teams of meteorologists and anchors from different local TV stations paddling in giant pumpkins for the coveted “Golden Gourd” trophy.
In the Powerboat division, the pumpkinboats are actually outfitted with a 5-10 hp outboard motor, resulting in a crowd-pleasing and memorable race. All teams in both divisions will be competing for the coveted “Golden Gourd” trophies.
Yet another exciting regatta event which debuted in 2011, and which MAY be repeated depending on participation, is “Pumpkinboat Polo”! This event consists of a competition where the objective is to retrieve a specific colored ball, using a “smelt net”, from a center corral and place that ball — one at a time — into each of four perimeter rings. The first participant to place all four balls into each of the four perimeter rings wins!
The regatta can be viewed harbor-side, or via a “live feed” into The Lincoln Theater, where spectators are able to watch the event, seated in the warmth and comfort of the historic theater. Lobster Coast Television will also have the regatta on channel 1301 and live streaming at lctv.org.