This is a child, teen, parent, or grandparent event where you build a pumpkin car, decorate it, and let it GO down an inclined race course.

But, watch out… if there are any cheater pumpkins, they will be SMASHED by the Referee’s giant mallet! Winners of each heat advance to the quarterfinals and championship. We invite all families to compete for an afternoon/evening of FUN and invite your friends and neighbors!

Top 3 finishers in the Family Heat will win trophies, with the 1st place finisher winning $500. The 1st Place in the corporate heat will get to bring back the Corporate trophy and bragging rights for the year, until the next race.

Entry fee is $20 at the event. Pre-registration has closed.

How to participate and the official rules of the race

The Official Pumpkin Race Rules have been established to promote fair play and inspire good old-fashioned American ingenuity.

Pumpkin Race Kits
For best performance and to be able to test out your racer at home, we encourage participants to buy their own wheels and axles. If in a pinch, we have a handful available to rent. Please email tap@tahoeexpeditionacademy.org to purchase or rent a kit.

General Rules and Regulations
All participants must design and race their Pumpkin Racers according to these few important rules to ensure that the event is fun and fair for everyone.

1. No pushing or “helping” your Pumpkin Racer on the starting line. Set it up in position then….Hands up!
2. All races are single elimination.
3. Pumpkin Racer wins when their wheels cross the finish line.
4. The Referees’ decision is final and if there is any controversy the head referee may have a race off between the Pumpkin Racers in question or all racers in the round.
5. Craft your Pumpkin Racer using a single pumpkin.
6. Pumpkin Racers must have two independent axles through the body of the pumpkin and the wheels must be attached to the axles.
7. Maximum wheel diameter 12 inches. (Wheels larger than 12” in diameter may race for time solo (only if it is safe and time permits) and will not be eligible for a trophy.
8. Do not attach your pumpkin onto a prefabricated chassis of any kind (skateboard, stroller, Tonka Truck, etc.)
9. NO SHARP OBJECTS, EXPLOSIVES or PYROTECHNICS.
10. NO CHEATING. Our Race Officials have a keen eye and the Mallet-O-Justice ready to bring any Cheater Pumpkin down! If you want to make a Cheater Pumpkin on purpose because you want to see the Mallet-O-Justice come down on your creation, please see below.

Acceptable Pumpkin Racers

1. Two independent axles running through the body of the pumpkin that do not connect to each other in any way

2. Still two independent axles running through the pumpkin with a different wheel configuration

Unacceptable Pumpkin Racers

1. No chassis (constructed or prefabricated); Axles may not connect to each other

2. No protective or cage-like structure around the Pumpkin Racer

3. Pumpkin Racers may only have two axles, they must be independent and cannot connect

Any pumpkin that is caught cheating on purpose (wink, wink)will be smashed! Before any pumpkin is smashed the head referee will check with mom or dad to make sure that pumpkin is ok to be smashed. We know how hard you worked on them.

How the race works

Watch this video from the world-famous Manhattan Beach Great Pumpkin race for some inspiration!

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