California Travel Tips

California Pumpkin Races, Drops and Smashes

Published on: October 20, 2018


What can you do with a pumpkin on Halloween besides carving it into a jack-o-lantern or eating it in some bread, pie, souffle, soup or dessert?

Well, you can drop it from a helicopter like they do at Hiller Aviation Museum’s annual Haunted Hangar Pumpkin Drop in San Carlos (left photo).

Or, you can drop it and try to hit the bullseye, always a favorite during the Halloween Zipline Pumpkin Smash at Moaning Cavern Adventure Park in Vallecito (middle photo). Prizes are awarded to zipline riders who score and win the drawing for neat stuff like day rental of a 40 foot, 20 person super cruiser patio boat courtesy of New Melones Lake Marina.

You can also race your pumpkin down a hill with a nifty race kit that includes 2 axles, 4 wheels and directions on how to create your race car. The most famous California pumpkin races got their start in a Southern California – South Bay beach town in 1990 and the tradition continues today at Manhattan Beach Pumpkin Race (bottom right picture.) Even the local PD races in this event!

Another popular event where this tradition has taken hold is the City of Napa’s Ox Boo Festival Coffin Races and Pumpkin Races.

Not to be outdone, you can head for Cal State Fullerton’s Pumpkin Launch, a free event applying the principles of science, engineering and mathematics to build trebuchet machines that send pumpkins high in the sky and towards large targets lining the field – sometimes more than 50 yards!

So, with a little imagination, innovation and craziness, maybe you’ll create the next legendary pumpkin event in your community.

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