Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta

The Damariscotta Pumpkinfest begins this Saturday! Our family had so much fun exploring the pretty village last fall. This is the place to sample pumpkin soda, check out quirky events and see some seriously big pumpkins.

Our first pumpkin viewing of the day: a crab on the Newcastle Pub steps.

CP#1 beelined to the face-painting booth when we arrived. The booth is conveniently next to a bake sale table lined with homemade goodies such as pumpkin whoopie pies with cream cheese frosting.

While waiting for CP#1, MP explored the docks and discovered a few interesting boats made for the Pumpkin Boat Regatta.

Who wouldn’t want to go boating inside a giant pig pumpkin?

CP#1 and #2 had a blast in the Children’s area, which is open Oct. 6-8 this year. The well-staffed section has a pumpkin bounce house and several games, including Pumpkin Plinko. Kids win tickets that they can redeem at the prize table, which offers a cornucopia of fun trinkets.

The bounce house is a festival favorite. Be prepared for a line.

CP#2 hoping to score a few more prize tickets at Pumpkin Plinko.

Kids redeem their tickets at the prize table.

The award-winning pumpkin is also on display nearby. Last year, Bradford-based pumpkin grower Elroy Morgan was the Maine State champion. His pumpkin weighed in at a whopping 1,375 pounds!

The gargantuan winner of the 2011 Pumpkin Weigh-Off.

For all of us, the best part of the festival is the incredible display of pumpkins throughout the town. If you’re looking for pumpkin decorating inspiration, this is the place to be.

Toto from the Wizard of Oz.

A beautifully carved pumpkin.

This year, we’re hoping to get to the festival early, so we can experience the Pumpkin Catapult & “Hurl” that takes place in Nobleboro. The event features 10-pound pumpkins being hurled at old cars (at 500 MPH, mind you). Something tells MP the kids are going to love it.

For a full schedule, visit the festival web site or Facebook page. Avery Yale Kamila’s article in the Portland Press Herald is also a great resource for festival highlights.

Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta
Sat., Sept. 29 – Monday, Oct. 8
Kids activities: Oct. 6-8

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