Pumpkin fest

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Flag of Canada  , Nova Scotia,
Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pumpkin Fest 12-18th October
Well tis the season of pumpkins, harvest and all that jazz and no one does it better than NS - maybe they do but I'm biased!  There are little and large roundish orange coloured balls appearing everywhere. Adorning front porches and lawns, some just sitting naked but proud, others dressed in all manner of costumes attracting attention and slowing passing traffic. Many ready for Halloween too. We took a trip with Leo & Nat up to the Annapolis valley (northern portion/coast of NS) to gaze upon the 'Pumpkin people" and to watch...wait for it...the 'Pumpkin Regatta' If there were an Eccentric Canada book this would surely be an entry. Firstly we called at Howard Dills farm; he is the 'grandfather' so to speak of the giant pumpkin. http://worldsbiggestpumpkins.com/
Being a Sunday and a beautiful fall day to boot, it was fairly busy but there were plenty of pumpkins to go round. As you can see they are indeed giants, though at the weigh off earlier in the week end Howard's had lost out to one from PEI that had weighed in at well over 1000 lbs! They had all shapes, sizes and squashes too, of various types and colours.

Some specimens were ugly; some coddled some needed a fork lift truck to move them. We're not talking the odd huge one here, they were everywhere, the ones destined for a watery voyage displayed separately. There is definitely something about the pumpkin colour, it's bold, bright and beautiful. It says HEY LOOK AT ME!

Anyway having chosen the ones we wanted, both for decoration and to eat :)  we then moved onto another farm where a corn maze was part of the celebrations. To give you some idea of size here's someone clutching a flag so that they can be rescued from a fate worse than death should they loose their way...and then the same shot without zoom!! Quite amazing!

Along the way we had seen the pumpkin people of the valley - I'm told they're quite normal for the rest of the year. In some places it was hard to tell the pumpkins from the people...

I'm actually cheating a little bit here as I have rolled a couple of visits to the valley into one blog in an attempt to catch up, but the theme was the same - pumpkins in case you hadn't guessed. The regatta was held the following week end after a week long festival and we had no idea how big an event it was going to be. The first indication was as we pulled off the 'freeway' and into Windsor, parking in and around the town was obviously full as we were met with lines of parked cars all along the hard shoulders and the slip roads - can you see that happening in the UK?
So we parked - with others- on the median and made our way to the lake to await the regatta. The vessels had paraded through town as part of a Festival procession and had now made their way to the far end of the lake. There were to be 3 classes; motorized, non motorized and experimental.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TePiPyMAMl0 The motorized class sadly had just two entries and only one of them finished, but the next class had over 30!

A large crowd had gathered to watch as the crews of these pumpkin boats paddled their way half a mile across the lake. Entries were very imaginative, Shrek though capsized half way! Personally I can't think of anything more unpleasant than sitting in a hollowed out pumpkin, paddling my way across a cold lake on a Sunday afternoon, but there you go! It's all in a good cause of course. Here are some of those who braved it...

Take a look in the album where you'll find lots more piccies of the entrants.
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