Pumpkin Festival

Pumpkin Festival - Autumn madness as world's largest Pumpkin paddling Race festival Contest begins

A German festival dedicated to celebrating all things pumpkiny has kicked off with a Traditonal race - with competitors paddling giant, hollowed-out pumpkins across a lake

The raditional pumpkin race takes place as part of the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival - which every year works to spread the joy of the world of pumpkins, in order to mark the start of the German pumpkin season.

The contestants in the pumpkin race have to paddle the huge, hollowed-out pumpkin across Ludwigsburg Castle lake - in front of the imposing backdrop and stately architecture of the former royal palace

The enormous pumpkins can weigh over 200lb (90kg) before having their tops cut off and their flesh scooped out to turn them into functioning boats.

The pumpkin racing isn't the only element that makes up the pumpkin festival - pumpkin growers also compete in a more traditional 'grow the largest pumpkin' contest, which this year festival-goers have had the chance to look at a giant statue of a seahorse made out of pumpkins.

Much of the fruit – and yes they are indeed fruit, botanically-speaking – weighed in at over 200lb before having all their flesh scooped out so that racers can fit inside.

But the festival also sees a more traditional contest where gardeners around Germany see if they can grow record-breaking pumpkins.

The weight to beat is just over 1,400lb.

Also – perhaps unsurprisingly – the restaurant at the 17th Century Castle Ludwigsburg makes use of the pumpkin flesh, with dishes including pies, curries and hearty stews.

Pumpkin enthusiasts will be pleased to learn that the pumpkin festival - said to be the largest pumpkin festival in the world - continues until early November.

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