The Great Pumpkin Classic in Vernon is not your everyday boat race - InfoNews

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The Great Pumpkin Classic in Vernon is not your everyday boat race

The Great Pumpkin Classic takes place Oct. 19 and Oct. 26.
Image Credit: City of Vernon
October 19, 2019 - 12:00 PM

It's not the most obvious choice of material to build a boat out of, but a hollowed-out giant pumpkin is what dedicated crews of paddlers will use as they head to Okanagan Lake in Vernon and race in The Great Pumpkin Classic.

The Great Pumpkin Classic takes place in Vernon Oct. 19 and Oct. 26 and sees giant pumpkins carved out and turned into boats.

"Since January, local growers have been nurturing giant pumpkins, meaning pumpkins that weigh at least 100 Ibs., and now their work is about to pay off," City of Vernon manager of tourism Ange Chew said in a media release. "Now we’re inviting the public to attend a giant pumpkin weigh-in, followed by The Great Vernon Pumpkin Race."

Contestants will weigh their pumpkins at Davison Orchard on Oct. 19 before the carving the pumpkins into boats in preparation for the race held at Kin Beach on Okanagan Lake a week later.

Growers have the option to keep their pumpkin, race it as a boat, or give it to someone else to race. Any extra pumpkins will be available to race by corporate sponsorship costing $500 per pumpkin. All funds raised will go to Kalamalka Rotary Club's Vernon Starfish Program which provides backpacks with meals and snacks to less fortunate school kids.

The unusual race has also caught the eye of a South Korean film crew, who will be capturing this year's event for an upcoming travel documentary.

After the race, all the pumpkins will either be composted or given to the bunny and donkey sanctuary.

The pumpkin weigh-in takes place at 11 a.m. at Davison Orchards Country Village, on Saturday, Oct. 19. The pumpkin boat race takes place at Kin Beach on Saturday, Oct. 26, from 1 to 3 p.m.

For more information go here.


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