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Damariscotta Pumpkinfest won't include famous pumpkinboat regatta this year, as organizers scale back festival

The giant pumpkins on Main Street, all decorated by local artists, will continue as planned this year.

DAMARISCOTTA, Maine — Organizers of the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta announced Friday that there will be no regatta portion of the festival this year. In a release, organizers said this year's festival has been scaled back, citing the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason.

"The committee’s decision is being made in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and Maine CDC guidance, and in consultation with local municipal, safety, and business partners," organizers said in Friday's release.

Organizers did note that the plans are subject to change according to Maine CDC guidance and in consultation with local safety and municipal partners.

The giant pumpkins on Main Street, all decorated by local artists, will continue as planned this year. All other festival events, including the famous pumpkinboat Regatta, will not happen this year. 

“We encourage families and visitors to come see the Giant Pumpkins on Main St. anytime between Saturday, October 9 and Tuesday, October 19. By spreading out visits over a 10-day window, everyone will be able to enjoy town and the pumpkins,” Buzz Pinkham, one of the festival’s co-founders, said in Friday's release.

The giant pumpkins arrive on Main Street in Damariscotta on the afternoon of Thursday, Oct. 7, and will be placed in front of local businesses. Artists will paint and carve the pumpkins all day on Friday, Oct. 8 The pumpkins will be on display for about 10 days, according to organizers.

Organizers said remote parking and buses will be available for visitors to travel downtown to see the pumpkins. A map showing where the pumpkins are located and information about each massive squash will be available online, and printed versions will be stocked on the buses and at local businesses.

The weigh-offs for volunteer growers and professional growers will still be held on Oct. 2 and Oct. 3.