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Do you like watching or participating in races? You’re probably thinking about the Indy 500, the Tour de France or some sort of marathon. But I’m here to tell you about a different kind of race: a pumpkin race!

Imagine putting a costume on a pumpkin, adding some wheels and racing it down a hill with other dressed-up pumpkins. Sound like your kind of race? If so, you should definitely check out Manhattan Beach Pumpkin Race, a fun-filled event thats takes place at the end of October in sunny Manhattan Beach, CA.

It’s this weekend! The 26th Annucal Manhattan Beach Pumpkin Race is this Sunday, October 23, 12-5pm

Crowd at the Manhattan Beach Pumpkin Race
Crowd at the Manhattan Beach Pumpkin Race

Each year, the community comes together with pumpkin entries from the police department, fire department, small businesses, and of course families. There are so many clever pumpkin designs from, pigs to minions! Manhattan Beach City Hall sells pumpkin race kits for $25. Included in the kit are wheels, bearings, nuts, axles, and this year, even a pair of sunglasses. You can also use your own materials if you think the kit won’t give your pumpkin the edge to win the race.

The mayor at the Manhattan Beach Pumpkin Race
The mayor at the Manhattan Beach Pumpkin Race

Here are the rules that pertain to all racers:

1. No explosives
2. No chassis of any kind
3. No helping or pushing your pumpkin
4. No cheater pumpkins (aka watermelons) or else your “pumpkin” will face the “Mallet-O-Justice” and get SMASHED!

Once you have your pumpkin decorated and assembled for speed, it’s time to head over to race. There will be a line, but don’t worry: You have the Pacific Ocean as your view. The line goes pretty quickly as they race 5-6 pumpkins in a heat. The racing lasts from 12 pm to 5 pm with a big trophy for the fastest pumpkin of the day.

Pig racer pumpkin
Pig racer pumpkin

The Princess Detectives, two young sisters, have grown up with the Pumpkin Race—as baby spectators in strollers, toddlers watching on their dad’s shoulders, and eventually to active race participants! They have even documented their past couple races on video—like the one above. The video captures the excitement, fun and creativity this annual event creates.

If you get a chance to visit Manhattan Beach this weekend, be sure to watch the Pumpkin Race. I promise you will have a “spooktacular” time!

Allison Rainey

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