Pumpkin Races spark creative competition

Coupeville’s Great Pumpkin Race was greater than ever this year, with more than twice the number of participants compared to 2015.

The race, now in its third year, took place Sunday and attracted 18 participants, up from seven the previous year. A crowd of about 50 assembled to watch and cheer on the competitors.

“We were pleasantly surprised,” said organizer Vickie Chambers.

Of the seven 2015 competitors, five returned.

“We see a big pattern that people are coming back,” Chambers said.

Zane Oldenstadt, a newcomer this year, snagged the championship title with his pumpkin Team Zane.

“I think it was really great that I won,” said Zane, an 11-year-old Coupeville resident. “I wasn’t expecting to.”

His was one of the largest pumpkins of the pack, with an understated no-frills design he and his father worked on together.

The award for Most Innovative went to Eric Daieneault, whose pumpkin Pumpkin-Eater featured a working chainsaw.

Jordan Jones took the prize for Best Crash with her pumpkin Speedy Kiwi, a miniature gourd.

Gabe Butchart won Best Decorated with his pumpkin Punk-O’-Hauntas, which he embellished with turkey feathers.

“I appreciated the creativity and energy,” Chambers said.

The race takes place at each year the Sunday before Halloween. All are welcome to participate. The only rule is to ensure the wheel axle goes through the pumpkin. Competitors should also come prepared with a gourd that’s “ready to roll.”

“I thought it was great fun,” Chambers said.