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The City Journals

10th annual Pumpkin Regatta held in Daybreak

Nov 11, 2021 10:35AM ● By Rachel Aubrey

Oct. 16 saw the 10th annual Pumpkin Regatta with all sorts of races and events. (Photo courtesy LiveDAYBREAK)

By Rachel Aubrey | [email protected]

On Oct. 16 the 10th annual Pumpkin Regatta welcomed young and old with crafts, games, activities and the main event: gigantic floating gourds racing across Oquirrh Lake. To help celebrate the Halloween season, pumpkin paddlers dressed in costumes, adding another level of fun to the event.

Sponsored by LiveDAYBREAK, the event began at 10 a.m. with the witches and wizards stand-up paddleboard race. The winner of the race was Daybreak resident Dave Mantyla, who despite being a stand-up paddle boarder, had never competed in a race prior to the event

“Why not,” Mantyla said. “Maybe paddle board racing will become a thing for me.”

Prior to the races, a ping pong contest was held, giving spectators a chance to throw ping pong balls into a moving target. The ping pong balls were purchased for $1 with the proceeds going to Farmer’s Feeding Utah, a non-profit organization started by the Utah Farm Bureau. The winner, Gina Herrera, received tickets to an upcoming Utah Jazz game.

The pumpkin races kicked off at 11 a.m. with the kids race- the winner was  heroically dressed as Batman. The relay race required contestants to paddle out in their pumpkins and swap places with a partner. The final winners were Clint Nash and Daybreak resident Dan Farr.

 A clash of the pumpkins race had eight contestants divided into four teams. Each team was trying to block the opposing team from reaching the finish line. The winners were the Utah Jazz Bear and resident VJ Espinoza, also dressed as Batman. There were six racers in the main event: the growers race. The racers paddled from start to finish and the winner, Bryce Olsen, was dressed as Spider-Man.

As if the racing wasn’t enough to draw residents from near and far, the blue skies provided a great backdrop for the event as families huddled together on the banks of the lake with chairs and blankets.

Originally held in Sugar House Park, the Pumpkin Regatta moved to Daybreak in 2016. After a year off due to the Covid-19 pandemic, racers were once again ready to jump into the giant sized pumpkins. While no entry fee was required, race contestants had to buy or grow their own pumpkin. To race in the regatta, contestants hollowed out the insides to be able to comfortably sit and paddle across the lake.  To ensure safety, kayakers were on the lake to assist if a racer lost balance.

Heber resident Joy Holbrook and her family brought their 501 pound pumpkin to participate in the regatta. Dressed up as Mr. and Mrs. Incredible, the Holbrooks brought their two sons and four grandchildren to the event. This was their first time competing in a race like this.

“This is so much fun,” Holbrook said. “I never thought I would get to do something like this.”

There was pumpkin tic tac toe, pumpkin ring toss, a train ride and a petting zoo, and for those 18 years and older, a pumpkin pie eating contest.

Daybreak resident Maren Holman brought her niece to experience all the activities and games. She was glad to have something to enjoy with her family.

“I think it’s really fun for kids,” Holman said. “It’s very different and it’s nice to have something like this so close.”

LiveDAYBREAK has garnered a reputation of sponsoring events that involve the young and the young at heart, working to enhance the lives of residents through the five values of connectivity, lifelong learning, healthy living, arts & diversity and giving back. For more information about upcoming events visit https://www.mydaybreak.com/calendar_live.php#LiveDaybreak. For more information or to make a donation to Farmer’s Feeding Utah visit https://farmersfeedingutah.org/