It’s time to get those pumpkins in racing shape in time for the 5th Annual Great Carbondale Pumpkin Race this Saturday in downtown Carbondale.
Downtown Carbondale by the Mill Street underpass will be lined with racers and spectators in costumes as individuals show off their creativity, both in racer pumpkins and costumes. Registration for the race begins at 1 p.m., and the races start at 2 p.m.
For the pumpkins, it must have a minimum of two independent axles through the pumpkin with wheels attached. Officials rules say the axles must go through the wheels. No caster wheels can be used.
Pumpkins may not be attached onto a chassis of any kind — office chair, skateboard, stroller, etc.
The rules also state participants cannot push the pumpkin at the starting line. Racers also cannot chasing the pumpkin down the tract to make it go straight. Rules state explosives or pyrotechnics are not allowed.
Event organizers want everybody to follow the rules, but if not, and cheating happens, their pumpkin will be subject to public shame and destroyed by the Mallet-O-Justice.
This year’s featured race is The Mayer Branding Grand Prix. That race has a $20 entry fee with a $500 grand prize, but participants are able to race just for fun.
James Mayer, owner of Mayer Branding, said the company is proud to be a sponsor in such an event.
“Mayer Networks and Mayer Branding sponsor a lot of different events, but those events which truly bring together the community are the most important to us which is why not only did we donate all the time involved with revamping the website and marketing materials, we also donated money to the winner of the Grand Prix,” he said. “We are very happy that turn out for the event has risen so dramatically. It’s a great event to bring the community together.”
Marcia Sinnott, event organizer and Rotary Club of Carbondale-Breakfast member, said in 2016, the event had more than 70 racers. She is hoping the turnout is similar this year.
“My goal is to have a wonderful family-friendly Halloween event for Carbondale,” Sinnott said. “As a Rotarian, we want to be able to donate to the community.”
She said the Boys and Girls of Carbondale and Good Samaritan Ministries will be the recipient of funds raised. This past year, the event raised more than $3,600.
Meghan Cole, executive director of Carbondale Main Street, said this event truly is unique to anything else done in Carbondale.
“We are literally racing pumpkins down a hill in downtown Carbondale,” she said. “This is really a family-friendly event. We get kids and families from all over the area.”
In addition to the race, Carbondale Community Arts will be hosting a costume contest. Participants will be judged by the audiences in between races.
Sponsors for the race this year include — Rotary Club of Carbondale-Breakfast, Carbondale Main Street, Carbondale Chamber of Commerce, Carbondale Community Arts, the city of Carbondale, Mayer Branding, The Printing Plant and Country Financial.