Strange sports: Giant Pumpkin Regatta in Oregon
I love sports. For the most part I stick to the major things that most Americans like such as basketball, American football, baseball, hockey, MMA, and to a lessor degree baseball. However, I dabble in really strange sports that are more like a "WTF" type sport than they are something that people actually train for.
There are some strange ones out there and I feel as though the West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta fits the bill of "odd" at least.
Every October, the people of Oregon and beyond descend upon a small city located just outside of Portland to don Halloween costumes and then race across the Tualatin Lake. The prizes are arbitrary and it is all just in the name of silly and good fun.
While I have never been to one of these things a friend of mine from college lives around Portland - thankfully not in the crazy part - and he went to one of these and actually purchased a giant hollowed-out pumpkin and rented an oar in order to participate.
He was clearly out of his element because not only did he not win but he ended up capsizing about a quarter of the way across the river. Everyone is just laughing and there is plenty of safety precautions to ensure that nobody drowns.
Like a lot of silly half-sports, the winner of the race is almost irrelevant and it is more of an opportunity to try to see who can come up with the most ridiculous costume or pumpkin modification. In a way it seems like a waste of food but other than pumpkin pie and pumpkin soup, I don't think we are going to be in any danger of ever running out of this basically unkillable weed that grows no matter what you do to it.
I was unaware that pumpkins this huge actually existed in mass quantities but it turns out that they are pretty common. There are anomolies though and the current world record for largest pumpkin weighs in at a crazy 1226 kg. Wow!
So if you are in Oregon in October this is just another one of those things that contributes to their city slogan of "Keep Portland Weird!"