Give ‘Em Pumpkin to Talk About

Your Halloween Pre-Game at the 30th Annual World Famous Pumpkin Race and Halloween Festival THIS Weekend.

By Christina Macaulay

pumpkin race
Pumkins racers

Halloween…it’s coming. If you’re looking for some fresh-aired fun for the whole family BEFORE Halloween time to dress up and head down to Manhattan Beach this Sunday October 24th  for the 30th Annual World Famous Pumpkin Race and Halloween Festival. 

Yes, you read that correctly. There is an actual race. For pumpkins. And people have been doing it for 30 years. Here’s a little background: The World Famous Pumpkin Race was created in 1990 on Halloween Eve by Karl Rogers, Michael Aaker, and John Holiday. What started out as a fun activity in the year 1990 for guests at Karl’s birthday was such a smash hit (get it smash?)  they raced pumpkins again the following year. Thirty years later, The World Famous Pumpkin Race has been featured on local and national television news outlets, included in an episode of “Home Improvement” starring Tim Allen, has its own documentary film released by Time Warner Cable, and was highlighted on The Travel Channel. 

At about this point you may be wondering “What exactly is a Pumpkin Racer?” 

Glad you asked! Official Rules explain that every pumpkin racer must include the following:
1) A Pumpkin (no larger than 30 “ around)

2) Two independent axles and wheels attached. 

3) Maximum axle length of 18 inches

4) No bumpers, prefabricated chassis of any kind, sharp objects, pyrotechnics, or wheels larger than 12” in diameter. For a full list of rules and regulations just click here:

Note: The decoration of the pumpkin, or lack thereof, is entirely up to you, but creativity is encouraged. Remember, pumpkins come in all different shapes, sizes, and speeds, so choose wisely.  

And if you’re thinking of cheating, everyone knows the Race Officials take their job seriously.

If a pumpkin is found in violation of the Official World Famous Pumpkin Race Rules it will receive the Mallet-O-Justice (i.e. smashed publicly into a million little pieces). Which of course for some, is all part of the fun.

You are welcome to make your own Pumpkin Racer, or, you can purchase a Pumpkin Racer Kit for $30 before the event and $35 on the day of the event.

The Halloween Festival fun lasts all day long! Kicking off at 9AM with a 3.5 mile SKECHERS Pier to Pier Friendship Walk. Check-In and Registration begins at 8AM at the Manhattan Beach Pier. Then from 11AM to 5PM Manhattan Beach merchants will be handing out treats for trick-or-treaters in costume. And the Pit Row Pumpkin Race Booth OPENS at 12pm at Pier #2 on Manhattan Beach Boulevard. There you’ll find  pumpkin racing pros ready to help first-timers assemble and prepare their Pumpkin Racers. Qualifying Pumpkin Races begin at 2:00PM SHARP with the Championship Race concluding at approximately 4:45 to 5:00PM (times are subject to change.) May the best pumpkin win! 

At the start line

For the Full Schedule of Events go to:

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