The Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta is set to launch its first event of the season from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, May 21, at Pinkham’s Plantation, 431 Biscay Road in Damariscotta.

Seedling Sunday marks the genesis of the agricultural science and harvest-centric celebration, with the first event leading to the annual fall festival. The distribution of prize giant pumpkin seedlings starts the clock for the growing competition phase for Pumpkinfest. According to a news release from Suzanne Gandy, event public relations chair, 750 plantlings are displayed for adoption, care and nurture.

A “celebrity” panel of professional giant pumpkin growers will offer best growing advice for raising formidable competitors, sometimes weighing up to 2,000 pounds. For a seedling sendoff, the Pumpkinfest Queen will bless the tiny plants, and be seated on her throne for family photo opportunities.

The four-month competition embodies those who wish to try their skills in pursuit of growing the biggest pumpkin to win the distinguished title of the largest giant pumpkin, in two categories: volunteer and professional growers.

These pumpkins are said to sometimes grow 25 pounds in one day.

Harvested pumpkins are weighed, assessed and selected to be featured as artist-decorated art, lining Damariscotta’s Main Street, during the Oct. 6-9 festival, as well as having the distinction of being assessed to become pumpkin boats for the Pumpkin Regatta.


Competitive pumpkins will be weighed and awarded on Weigh-Off Weekend, Sept. 30-Oct. 1, at Pinkham’s Plantation.

Further event information and 2023 merchandise for sale will be posted as it becomes available, including schedules, maps, parking, and transportation. For updates and emerging details, refer to



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