Life List Item #104: Check!

Every year I plan to attend, and every year I miss it. But this year, I was ready for it. On Sunday, I dragged the family to Windsor, Nova Scotia to cheer on the paddlers at the 13th Annual Pumpkin Regatta.

Yes, you are seeing correctly. Those are giant pumpkins they are steering across the water. Windsor is home to some of the world’s largest pumpkins. The town celebrates this claim to fame every year with a large outdoor festival. Naturally, the main event is the race across Lake Pesaquid. Back in 2005 even Martha Stewart entered a pumpkin in the challenge.

It was just as much fun as I anticipated. There were two classes of racers: motorists and paddlers. It was impressive how fast they could get those things to move. Considering the distance they had to travel, the race was over much too quickly. Many people were participating for charity and some were more competitive than others. There were also prizes for the most creative decorations. I think my favourite was the guy all in pink.

When the race was finished, I spent the rest of the time trying to convince my practically husband that he should enter next year. Despite how exhausted the paddlers must have been, they looked like they were having a blast!

If we go again next year, I’ll probably leave Shiva at home. She did seem to enjoy herself and she handled the large crowds with patience, but her presence prevented us from participating in many of the other festivities. All the sitting around in one place is not healthy for her manic brain. By the end of the day, she was getting pretty punchy. My PH and I were exhausted from trying to keep her entertained.

It didn’t help when a couple with a giant mastiff sat down right next to us. The large dog in her space made Shiva a very anxious girl. Though he was quite beautiful. He stuck his head out when I was trying to snap this photo, and I think it looks all the better with him there.

Regardless, it was a pretty excellent day and I am glad we finally got a chance to see the pumpkins in action. One more item crossed off my list!

37 thoughts on “Life List Item #104: Check!

  1. I love it! Homegrown activities by crazy people with too much time on their hands are the greatest!

    Don’t you wonder if having PH and Shiva racing a pumping together wouldn’t be just the thing? Now that would be exciting!

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    • I know! I can’t believe it took me so long to go. Pictou County has a big lobster festival that I always miss out on every year, including a lobster-banding competition. Next summer I am going to make it a priority!

      That would be awesome! I wonder if it’s been done before. We could set a world record for the first dog to paddle in a pumpkin!

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  2. OMG that is awesome and so cool. Im a big fall person and one of my favorite things are pumpkins – I have them everywhere in the house and ofcourse outside. What a great festival, I know that sometimes when we take our dogs it puts a damper on things we want to do at the festivals but it sounds like she did awesome!

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    • She did do really well, all things considered. But I think she may have been happier at home where she could have relaxed. I love involving her in everything we do but sometimes I think I put her in situations that might be a bit too much. Then again, she rises to the challenege every single time!

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  3. Sounds like an awesome event, even if it was a bit much for Shiva. I do love the crazy local events! There’s a small town in South Dakota who has “toilet bowl races!”… they mount toilet bowls on something with wheels and they push themselves around a course (they have a few divisions… pairs, singles, and motorized)… it’s such a hoot watching the craziness!

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  5. Looks like fun!

    I do often wonder about the people who plunk themselves (and their dog) down next to another dog without questioning the owners how the dog is.

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    • I can’t blame them too much. I don’t think they knew Shiva was there until it was too late. The dogs were okay, there was only a brief dicey moment where Shiva made it clear to the giant she didn’t like his head in her face. After that it was fine. Whew!

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  6. That looks like so much fun! Do the people have to make their own pumpkin “boats” or do they get them from somewhere? It seems like it would take a long time to clean one of those out! 😉

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    • I think they all came from the famous – for this area anyway – Dill Pumpkin Farm. But I do think each racer is responsible for preparing each pumpkin his/herself. I imagine it takes forever! Hopefully they each had a lot of help.

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  7. I saw that race on the news! Didn’t notice you guys or the mastiff, though. 🙂

    It is totally terrific and awesome to do stuff like that. And it’s okay for mom ‘n’ dad to take some “us time” and live the little ones at home. 🙂 Now that Shiva’s seen it once, she doesn’t have to see it again.

    I’ve seen the Shediac lobster, the Canada goose in Wawa, and the Vegreville Ukrainian Easter Egg. I also dragged the AH (actual husband :)) to Magnetic Hill in Moncton. I thought it was cool. He was underwhelmed, and it undermined my credibility in activity selection for quite a while!

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    • So cool it actually made the national news! Too bad Shiva didn’t get to be on television. She is very disappointed to hear she missed her big chance.

      What about the giant pinto bean or the big nickel? My parents took us on many “big things” road trips as a kid. My favourite is probably still the lobster, though. It is just so lifelike! 😉 I was underwhelmed by Magnetic Hill as well so I can’t blame him. It’s just a dirt road… I expected a lot more splash. My PH is lucky I haven’t dragged him there yet!

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  8. Okay, I now need to paddle a pumpkin around. Just because I could.

    I wonder if I could put a form around a giant pumpkin as it was growing to give it a prow like a kayak, to make it more sleek in the water?

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    • You totally could! You could enter it in the “experimental” category where anything goes. It’s all about choosing the right pumpkin, too, I think. Some people had ones that were just too round or too large on one-side. It would take some practice to know the exact shape you need for maximum steerage.

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    • That’s right. We’re not just about dorky dog videos anymore! Come to this blog and you get a real education! 😉

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  9. The last few times I’ve tried to post, the Name, email and Website of the last person who posted has been in the boxes. Gremlins at work I reckon.

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    • Ugh. I’m sorry that’s happening for you. I thought I’d had the problem fixed. But I appreciate you letting me know. Hopefully I can get this issue solved. Please let me know if it continues!

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    • LOL. Thanks for sharing. Your photos were much more impressive than mine. It’s so cool there are events like these around the world!

      I was actually really surprised that no one fell overboard during the race on Sunday. If that were me in that thing, I’d probably fall out within the first 30 seconds!

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  10. This is probably a dumb question, but are those real, actual pumpkins that have been hollowed out? I know they must be because I can’t imagine anyone making pumpkin shaped ‘boats’! Just seems a bit odd to me, lol! But why not? We have a ‘world famous in New Zealand’ annual gumboot tossing competition which I must go to some time as it’s only an hour from home!

    Looks like a great day out for everyone and I’m sure Shiva will be more at ease next year. I bet if you’d gone last year you wouldn’t even have considered taking her!

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    • Yep, real pumpkins. I know, it is pretty hard to believe. When we first moved out here and I heard about it, I couldn’t stop laughing.

      Though gumboot tossing wins for the world’s craziest amateur sport. You must, must, must attend and take photos. This reader demands it! I am going to have to scour the internet now to see if there is video.

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