The sights and sounds of fall include many things like crisp mornings, apple picking, and cider season, and the leaves changing color. Most of all, perhaps, autumn makes people think “pumpkins.”
People of all ages are inspired by the artistry and creativity of the giant pumpkins that are associated with Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta. They line Main Street in Damariscotta and are placed at other regional businesses, including on the Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce’s lawn.
Stone sculptor William Jacobs will carve one of the Boothbay Railway Village museum’s two homegrown Atlantic Giants live during Fall Foliage Festival on Saturday, Oct. 7. The museum’s pumpkins were weighed during the official volunteer growers weigh-in last weekend at Pinkham’s Plantation and tipped the scales at 554.5 and 245 pounds. The larger pumpkin was awarded fifth place at the volunteer weigh-in and will be deployed in downtown Damariscotta for the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta.
Those who want to get involved in the pumpkin fun might consider registering for the third annual Fall Foliage Festival Pumpkin Carving Contest this weekend during the Fall Foliage Festival. Entering the pumpkin carving contest is just a $5 fee and includes a pass for free admission to the festival and a pumpkin weighing 10-15 pounds to carve and take home. Registration forms are available on the event page at railwayvillage.org. Contestants can register in advance or at the door until all pumpkins have been spoken for.
All pumpkin carving must occur on-site from 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 7 to noon on Monday, Oct. 9. Basic tools will be provided, but contestants are welcome bring their favorite tools from home. Electricity will even be available for those who might want to bring drills, Dremels, and other power tools (bring an extension cord, too!). All ages and skill levels are welcome to enter the contest. Spectators are encouraged to come and cheer on the participants.
The judges for the contest include sculptor Bill Royall, of Southport, and Sarah and Claire Libby of the official Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta Committee. A top-secret third judge will join the group but will remain anonymous so they cannot be swayed by gifts and bribes. The judges will review all entries at noon on Oct. 9, with the award announcement beginning at 12:30 p.m. Pumpkins and prizes can be picked up starting at 1 p.m. on Oct. 9.
Fabulous prizes have been donated by a wide variety of businesses, with more prizes expected to be added by the weekend.
The festival is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday and Monday. Admission is $4 for adults and children under 12, and Boothbay Railway Village museum members are free. Steam train tickets are an additional $5 each, and free for museum members. Parking is free both in the museum’s main parking lots and in the special event parking lot across Route 27 next to T & D Variety.
Contact Boothbay Railway Village for more information at 633-4727 or online at railwayvillage.org. Boothbay Railway Village is located at 586 Wiscasset Road, Boothbay.