Pumpkins are great for decorating, carving, and making delicious pies out of, but did you know that they make great boats for racing too? If this comes as a surprise to you, then you’ve probably never heard of the West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta, which is taking place on October 15 at Tualatin Commons this year. This is one event that you and your little crew don’t want to miss. Read on for all the details and then get ready for some wacky October fun!


Photo: Don Shall via Flickr

13th Annual West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta
As unbelievable as it might seem, pumpkins can be used as boats and this event proves that for the most part, they even stay afloat. The West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta, now in its 13th year, is continuing to stun attendees of all ages with pumpkins weighing over 1000 pounds that are hollowed out, decorated and then paddled through the water course on the lake at Tualatin Commons. Contestants captain their boats dressed up as superheroes and wacky characters your kiddos will recognize, love and have fun rooting for! But the fun doesn’t stop there, this event has more going on than just the paddling of pumpkins.

The Weigh-Off
The day of the race kicks off with a giant pumpkin parade and weigh-off put on by the Pacific Giant Vegetable Growers. Pumpkins are brought in and weighed. Only the biggest and best win. Some of the pumpkins may even be bigger than your little ones, which is sure to entertain and thrill them.


photo: Chiot’s Run via Flickr

On Dry Land
While watching costume-clad adults paddle at a snail’s pace towards the finish line, is good for a ton of laughs, there’s plenty to do outside of the water. You and your kids can participate in or watch a costume contest and pumpkin carving contest. Face painting will be available and if your kids need to get some wiggles out, pumpkin golf is sure to do the job. There is even a pie eating contest the mom or dad might want to enter just for fun.

Live entertainment will take place on a small stage and includes local entertainers like the stilt walking Miz Pearl, and if your kids love animals Smokey and Rojo from Mountain Peaks Therapy Llamas will in attendance and waiting to have their photos taken with young fans.


Peruse Booths
When hunger hits, you and brood can cruz through a plethora of food and craft vendors. Ease appetites with yummy treats and enjoy checking out booths manned by artisans selling unique hand-crafted fall and harvest inspired items including hand-blown glass pumpkins, ceramics, and other works of art.

Additional Regatta Events
This year the Regatta Medallion Hunt and the Regatta Run will be part of all of the fun. You can sign up for the run in advance or on the day of. The Medallion Hunt is a great activity to do as a family and you can get started ahead of time. A series of clues will be revealed in The Times and on the Regatta web page on Sept. 15, Sept 22, and Oct. 6 that will reveal the hiding place of the bronze medallion with the Regatta mascot engraved on the back. Instructions on how to redeem the medallion for a reward is on the back. There is a fantastic prize for the winner who will be awarded their prize at the main event on Saturday.

West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta

Location:8325 SW Nyberg St, Tualatin
Date: Oct. 15 2016
Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Online: www.tualatinoregon.gov

What is your favorite October event in Portland? Share it with us in the comments below.

—Annette Benedetti