Parks & Recreation: Events

Posted on: August 21, 2017

Giant Pumpkins in the Great Outdoors

2017 GPF logo

Giant Pumpkins in the Great Outdoors

Theme Announced for 2017 Elk Grove Giant Pumpkin Festival

Elk Grove, CA – Adventure awaits you at the 23rd annual Elk Grove Giant Pumpkin Festival hosted by the Cosumnes Community Services District (CSD).  Elk Grove’s largest family festival is set to take place on Oct. 7 and 8, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Elk Grove Regional Park.

CSD event organizers were inspired by nature when choosing this year’s theme, “Giant Pumpkins in the Great Outdoors!”  Among the GIANT pumpkins will be log cabins, fishing poles, tents, lumberjacks and more!

With the festival only weeks away, CSD event organizers and participating performers, vendors and sponsors are busy preparing festival favorites and new attractions, including:

Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off

Weighing in at nearly one ton, you’ve never seen pumpkins like this before!  Russ Pugh of Santa Rosa, Calif. took home the top prize at last year’s festival with his 1,944.5-pound pumpkin.  Cheer from the stands as the gargantuan pumpkins are moved with a forklift to a special scale on Saturday morning.

Giant Pumpkin Regatta

For the 11th year at the Festival, canoes will be carved out of giant pumpkins and raced across the lake in the Giant Pumpkin Regatta.  Cheer on the brave paddlers starting at noon on Sunday.  After the race, watch as the pumpkin boats fall from great heights into the water in the Giant Pumpkin Drop.

Pumpkin Flavored Everything

Crazy for pumpkin food?  Get your fix at the new Pumpkin Food Court where local non-profit groups, vendors and restaurants will be selling pumpkin deliciousness in many forms.  Set up camp in the Pumpkin Kitchen to watch cooking demonstrations by local chefs throughout the weekend.  Enter your own sweet or savory pumpkin-flavored treat into the Best Pumpkin Recipe Contest to try and win a cash prize.  New this year, the Lil’ Pumpkin Cupcake Contest will be open to bakers age 12 and under.

World Pumpkin Pie-Eating Championship

The Elk Grove Giant Pumpkin Festival World Pumpkin Pie-Eating Championship returns to Major League Eating’s 2017 slate of sanctioned eating championships.  This year marks the fourth anniversary of the eternal battle between man and woman and pumpkin pie.  No. 1 ranked eater in the world, Joey Chestnut, claimed last year’s title by consuming 19 pounds and 6 ounces of pie in eight minutes.  The battle begins Sunday at 1:30 p.m. on the Strauss Island stage.

Scarecrows in the Great Outdoors

Assemble your friends, family or service group and create a nature-inspired scarecrow display for this year’s scarecrow contest!  Enter the contest in one of four categories: Youth Open (individuals 12 and under), Youth Group, Teen/Adult, or Elementary School Class.  The scarecrows will be judged on Saturday morning and displayed over the two days.

Tree-mendous Art in the Park

The festival is guaranteed to delight nature lovers and art lovers alike!  Create a pumpkin masterpiece by attending a two-hour painting class under the heritage oak trees.  Get your hands dirty in the camping-themed children’s art area or take a hike through the festival’s art walk which will feature a youth art competition for artists ages 3 to 17.

S’more Fun in the Kids Zone

Young festival goers will be happy campers as they play with interactive wilderness activities, arts and crafts projects, hay maze, petting zoo, pumpkin train ride, and pumpkin story time.  The Kids Zone will feature carnival games and rides. Child-friendly entertainment, including wild animal shows and musical acts, will fill the Pumpkin Pavilion stage all day Sunday.

Lumberjack Sports Entertainment

Channel your flannel and cheer on professional lumberjacks as they compete in different events!  See everything from racing chainsaws, water events, and cross cut saws to audience participation and chainsaw carving giveaways.  The fast-paced, family friendly shows will run throughout the weekend.

CSD event organizers invite you to be part of the 2017 Festival.  You’ll be plaid you came!  Vendors, sponsors and volunteers are currently being sought.  Visit for more information, volunteer opportunities and contest entry forms.  Become a friend of the festival on Facebook and Twitter.

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