The Halloween season undoubtedly brings an endless parade of pumpkin patches and and festivals, but the BIGGEST one is surely the 12th Annual West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta (Saturday, October 17, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Tualatin Commons) as gargantuan pumpkins are weighed, gutted, carved, decorated and then finally turned into water racing vessels for a truly kitsch event.
While a Giant Pumpkin Regatta may sound like a regal affair, this special day veers more to the wonderfully absurd. Pumpkin-lovers come to watch this annual race of 1,000-plus pound hallowed pumpkins—with people inside them—buoying across the water. Upon trucks hauling giant pumpkins to the race site, the enormous gourds are fork-lifted to sit alongside each other for the Annual Terminator Weigh-Off. Upon declaring a winner, the pumpkin owners engage in the most epic pumpkin carving session you have ever seen, scooping out seeds by the gallons.
Rather than filling the pumpkins with lights for a jack-o-lantern, the owners instead place themselves inside the hollowed out orange orbs. The regatta offers different races, with some focusing on speed while others are game-oriented. Giddy from the raucous of the Giant Pumpkin Regatta, the crowd moves on to a cornucopia of other activities, including a pie-eating contest, pumpkin decorating, and live music.
In addition to living out your own “The Great Pumpkin” fantasy, your time in the Tualatin Valley can also be filled with the North Willamette Crush wine tasting event, an artist itinerary or more Halloween events.