Two dozen people showed up at Gyro Park for the second annual pumpkin races on Saturday.
The event began last year as a fun activity between friends and neighbours, organizer Maggie O’Neill said. They moved to a hill beside the Gyro youth centre when the crowd became too large for the back alley.
“We used to go to the races in Manhattan and Redondo Beach with friends. It was just so much fun,” O’Neill said. “We’re Americans and it’s not really our Thanksgiving holiday. We thought, ‘let’s play with food.’”
Participants went online to learn to build their pumpkins: axles have to go through the pumpkin and there is a science to it, O’Neill said.
Of course, some people are going to try and get around the rules. So this year, organizers added a “mallet of justice” to the mix.
“We needed to have something to level the playing field. If you cheat, you get it.”
That means the pumpkin racer is smashed with the mallet. This was a popular way to conclude the races, as kids took turns destroying their creations once the races were finished.
“No matter how you try and get your physics right, you’re still matching wits with a rotting vegetable.”