PumpkinPalooza is back for its 5th year to celebrate everything pumpkin. On Oct. 23, families can go over to Victorian Square to participate in the pumpkin derby, all day contests in the Victorian Square Amphitheatre, a chance to enter your pumpkin in a beauty pageant, storytelling time in the Haunted Schoolhouse and more. It’s an event not to miss (and hopefully the weather will cooperate this weekend)!
About the Pumpkin Derby
The derby is fun to watch but it’s even more fun to compete for the Grand Championship Trophy in the only pumpkin derby offered in the state of Nevada. In the races, pumpkins compete in divisions like the super stock, funny car or hot rod with a final race at the end to determine the overall fastest pumpkin racer.
A pumpkin racer is basically just a pumpkin on wheels. According to pumpkinpalooza.org, the best way to build a racer is to make sure that the axles are parallel so that it stays on the track and has a better chance of making it through the finish line.
Pumpkins with enough ground clearance and free spinning wheels are also more likely to generate some speed. There is a 20-pound weight limit on your pumpkin and keep in mind that the heaviest pumpkin doesn’t always go faster. It costs $10 to enter a pumpkin in the derby or you can buy a $15 kit on race day which includes the wheels, axles, and the pumpkin. If you return your wheels and axles after the races then you get to keep the pumpkin. Races start no earlier than noon the day of PumpkinPalooza and the race is more fun if you wear a costume.
Check Out the Activities Stage
Throughout the day PumpkinPalooza will be awarding prizes to people who have the best audience applause in the pumpkin pie eating contest, pumpkin seed spitting contest, and mummy wrapping contest where teams roll a team member up in tape and toilet paper. Keep in mind if you enter one of the many contests during the day that style, flair, and humor will help to gain ovation.
Plenty of events
Marshmallow Shooting: For $5 per kit you can assemble your own marshmallow shooter and then test it out on the range for free! Other carnival games sponsored by Circus Circus will be available for 50 cents apiece.
Pumpkin Beauty Contest: If you are the master of the glue gun or carving knife then this activity is for you. Show off your artistic skills with a creatively decorated Jack-O-Lantern with possible the help of some glitter, paint and eyeballs!
Costume Parade: Led by Zomboo, the world’s best TV horror host, families are encouraged to gather at around 1pm donning their best Halloween finery to parade down the streets of Victorian Square.
Storytelling in the Haunted Schoolhouse
Sponsored by the Washoe County School District and AmeriCorps VISTA, ghosts are coming back to the historical Glendale School House for scary story telling throughout the day. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, Glendale School was built in 1864 as the first school in the Reno area and was deemed the first educational institution teaching kids for almost 100 years. In 1993 Glendale School was relocated to Victorian Square as part of a development project.
Live Music on the Great Basin Stage
Talented people will be performing throughout the day on the stage outside of Great Basin Brewing Company from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Catch the Note-Ables, Reno Rock Camp/We Rock, the Rebekah Chase Band, Art in Motion, and Revival as well as the Reed High School Varsity Cheerleaders doing the “Time Warp” and “Thriller” dances.
Over 8,000 people attend this event year after year, so now is your chance to show off your costume, impress the crowd with your pumpkin racer building skills, or demonstrate how well you can spit some seeds in Victorian Square Oct. 23 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Even if you can’t attend the whole event, Sparks Mayor Geno Martini says, “Just the pumpkin races themselves will crack you up.”