On Thursday, May 9, third-grade students from the classes of teachers Jen Gregg, Tracy Renault, and Kellie Peters at Great Salt Bay Community School in Damariscotta enjoyed a springtime class trip to Pinkham’s Plantation Garden and Landscape Center on Biscay Road in Damariscotta. They were there to learn how and help prepare some 600 pumpkin seeds to be given away on Sunday, May 19 at Pinkham’s.
On Sunday, May 19, Seedling Sunday officially kicks off the 2019 Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta. On Seedling Sunday, volunteer growers can adopt the 10-day-old Atlantic Giant pumpkin seedlings and grow pumpkins that will become the granddaddies of the pumpkin patch. These giants will be featured as pumpkin boats in the regatta and ammunition in the unforgettable pumpkin drop, and turned into works of art and displayed on Main Street in Damariscotta and Newcastle during Pumpkinfest.
Pumpkinfest’s guest partners will include representatives from the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, the Maine Maritime Museum, and Visit Freeport. This year’s Pumpkin Expert Panel includes Channel 13’s Charlie Lopresti, Curt Crosby, Richard Powell, Tom Lishness, Buzz Pinkham, and Bill Clark.
Join the fun by becoming a Pumpkinfest Squashbuckler on Seedling Sunday, May 19 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. or whenever the last plants have been adopted from Pinkham’s Plantation, located at 431 Biscay Road in Damariscotta. Along with a free Atlantic Giant pumpkin plantlet, one will receive helpful growing instructions from the Pumpkin Expert Panel, plus five gallons of free compost to give the seedling a healthy start. Please bring a five-gallon container for some free super-enriched compost.
This year, Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta is partnering with Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, the Maine Maritime Museum, and Visit Freeport for the annual Maine’s Pumpkin Trail, a 40-mile-long, event-filled tour of museums and festivals held between Labor Day and Halloween. To find out more about Maine’s Pumpkin Trail, visit mainepumpkintrail.com.
Also, the “Small Town Big Deal” episode about Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta filmed last year will air on Saturday, May 18 at 4:30 a.m. on WCSH (NBC) out of Portland and WLBZ (NBC) out of Bangor. This nationally syndicated show celebrates the great stories from small towns or communities across the U.S. A local theater showing is being planned for the near future.
Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to promote education to citizens of all ages regarding the specific agricultural science required to grow giant pumpkins and to provide local nonprofit organizations with opportunities for dissemination of information on their activities and fundraising. For more information, visit damariscottapumpkinfest.com or go to Facebook at facebook.com/damariscottapumpkinfest and Instagram at instagram.com/mainespumpkintrail.