PumpkinFest has become such a wonderful tradition in Cooperstown.
The two-day event is certainly unique to anyone who has not seen thousand pound pumpkins before. Pumpkins and other items grown in the garden are weighed, judged, cooked, eaten, painted, carved … But what makes it most interesting is the Regatta- when some of the pumpkins (squash have been used in the past as well) are brought to Lakefront Park, hollowed out and raced across the lake.
Word is obviously getting around about this event because more and more spectators come each year, and finding a place to actually get to see the competition is hard. In response the Cooperstown Chamber, which hosts the event, began a live video stream of available at www.ustream.tv/channel/cooperstownchamber. It can also be viewed after the races.
While this may allow for more people to see the races, it is not quite the same as seeing it live. The community is lucky to have such an event, but it would be nice to make it more enjoyable for visitors. Yes, the entertainment is free, and there is a lot to do down at the lakefront other than watch the races, but that is the main attraction people want to see.
Let’s face it; it is not every day you get to see people paddle a pumpkin across water and it certainly has more appeal live.
If you go and are not able to get a good spot to watch the races themselves we recommend watching the launch process. Watching staff and participants get pumpkins into the water and seeing if they are going to float can be the most exciting part of the day. Organizers typically begin that process at around 11 a.m. and there is a little more room for observation.
There are very few places one can go to see pumpkins that are actually large enough to be made into Cinderella’s carriage. Festivities will begin Saturday as pumpkins and other fruit growers converge at Doubleday Field parking lot for a weigh-off. Food and merchandise vendors will also be on hand starting at 9 a.m. The weigh-off is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. and will feature growers from all over the northeast region. Last year’s largest pumpkin tipped the scales at 1,509.5 pounds.
Business owners, growers and community members will participate in a series of race heats during the Regatta. Races are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.
Editor says goodbye
This will mark my last week at the Crier. Moving on is bittersweet because I began writing for the newspaper just days after graduating from college. I’ve grown so much here and have been able to meet and get to know so many people in this wonderful community.
I will not be moving out of the area. In fact, I will not be going far at all as I have accepted a position at Leatherstocking Credit Union.
Although getting the news out to all of our readers is a huge responsibility, it has been a pleasure.