Howard Dill is famous worldwide for starting to grow giant pumpkins. He has created the Dill's Atlantic Giant breed of pumpkins which have broken many records for heaviest pumpkin. Because of this heritage Windsor is one of only a few official weighing stations in the world.
In 1999 Windsor wanted to use these giant pumpkins to help increase tourism. With the Dill family they came up with the Pumpkin Regatta, where people paddle hollowed out pumpkins from Falmouth to Windsor across Lake Pezaquid.
Although this is now one of the major attractions during the Pumpkin Festival there are also a number of other events which take place as well. In the morning before the race there is a scavenger hunt for children at Haliburton House. On the grounds are hidden hundreds of gourds, children race around and try to find the golden gourd.
Before the entries are put in the water, they are displayed on parade from the Exhibition grounds to the Falmouth side of the Lake. This has always been a great parade. You get to see the giant pumpkin boats up close as well as other related floats.
The highlight, for many, is then the actual races. It typically starts with the motorized class of giant pumpkin boats coming across the Lake, followed by the paddlers making their way over as well. The idea of this never seems to get old no matter how many times you watch the race, people in giant painted pumpkins paddling across a lake. As odd as the idea seems, it has caught on and is now being done in other places as well.
For more information visit the Pumpkin Festival's website www.worldsbiggestpumpkins.com