By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,543)
“We spend so much of our time in our lives trying to make sense of things and you can come here and celebrate the absurd,” said Alan “Buzz” Pinkham this afternoon in Damariscota following the PumpkinFest & Regatta in Damariscotta. “Because this is senseless!” It’s a three-day Fest that is family friendly – with lots of children’s activities.
Buzz and a friend of his, Billy, came up with the idea for the :”PumpkinFest & Regatta” back in 2005, But it took several years of cajoling to convince the business community to accept the possibilities of their idea. .
Finally, the business community accepted the all volunteer PumpkinFest idea in 2007. That’s when businesses began sponsoring artists who decorated the pumpkins that line the main street of Damariscotta. Since that year the event has grown exponentially. An article in “National Geographic” magazine contributed mightily to its growth. Some of the first seeds of these giant size pumpkins were grown on the well-respected five (5) acre nursery owned by Buzz – Pinkham’s Plantation. This year there were about seventy-three (73) pumpkins – probably a few less than in previous years. That could be due to the drought that has plagued Maine – making some growers reluctant to use their limited water supplies in this way.
When the crowds cleared following the 45-minute Pumpkin Parade, the pumpkins could be seen as well as a number of food venues along the street. One of those food venues doing a brisk business was Christine Schweighauser, owner of Cocinas Kitchen, Damariscotta. She sold almost 1,200 tacos and burritos from the opening and early afternoon. She would like to expand into Portland when she finds a suitable location. Pls contact Christine at: email@example.com. See above right photo.)
Perhaps the highlight of the three-day Fest is the well-known Pumpkinboat Regatta. That’s where brave souls convert their pumpkins to boats and add an outboard engine. They race round Damariscott Harbor until someone sinks or is declared a winner!
“This has been a real community builder. It has brought many of us together,” said co-founder Pinkham, enjoying every morsel of the “Absurd!”
For more information on activities on Monday, Columbus Day, please see www.damariscottapumpkinfest.com. ,