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Pumpkin Race Web Banner

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

Parks and Recreation staff decorating pumpkinsPumpkin Race Kits
You can purchase the official Manhattan Beach Pumpkin Race Kit for $30 (pre-sale) at Live Oak Tennis Office located at 1901 Valley Drive, Manhattan Beach or the Parks and Recreation Department located in City Hall, 1400 Highland Avenue, Manhattan Beach. Kits will be $35 the day of the event and can be purchased in Pumpkin Race Land (upper Pier Parking Lot - South).

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.)
  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.
  11. Maximum axle length is 18”.
  12. No bumper or protective cage-like structure to protect racer.
  13. Maximum diameter of Pumpkin Racer is 30” around.
  14. No fabricated or prefabricated chassis of any kind nor attachments to stabilize axles (tension rods, welded rods, etc.). Axles may not connect to each other in any way.
    1. Plastic zip ties are the only allowed item to be used on an axle for support/stabilization. Zip ties will be available at Pumpkin Kit Row while supplies last.
Acceptable Pumpkin Racers
Two independent axles running through the body of the pumpkin that do not connect to each other in any way
Still two independent axles running through the pumpkin with a different wheel configuration

 Diagram of Acceptable Pumpkin Racer 1

 Diagram of Acceptable Pumpkin Racer

Unacceptable Pumpkin Racers
No chassis (constructed or prefabricated); Axles may not connect to each other
No protective or cage-like structure around the Pumpkin Racer
Pumpkin Racers may only have two axles, they must be independent and cannot connect
 No chassis (constructed or prefabricated); Axles may not connect to each other
 Diagram of Unacceptable Pumpkin Racer 1  Diagram of Unacceptable Pumpkin Racer 2  Diagram of Unacceptable Pumpkin Racer 3 Diagram of Unacceptable Pumpkin Racer 4 

Chearter Pumpkin SmashingCheater Pumpkins
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.

Tips from the Pumpkin Race Pros

  1. Be sure to read the Official Rules (above) to understand how to build a "legal" Pumpkin Racer.
  2. A bigger or heavier Pumpkin Racer is not necessarily a faster Pumpkin Racer. Rarely does the biggest pumpkin win.
  3. The best way to build a fast Pumpkin Racer is to make sure the axles are parallel so it will roll straight down the track. Many participants are eliminated because their Pumpkin Racer veers into the side wall before crossing the finish line.
  4. Check your axles to make sure they are parallel before every race.
  5. Make sure all of your wheels spin freely
  6. Be sure your Pumpkin Racer has enough ground clearance! The race takes place on a track with bumps and dips. Make sure your Pumpkin Racer is high enough to clear them.
  7. Have fun making your Pumpkin Racer! Pick a theme and be creative. Often, the crowd favorites are the most fun and creative ones. If you can't win, then lose with style!
  8. Be sure to visit the Tinker Zone at the event for more expert tips and tune-ups with your pumpkins.
  9. Be on time for your rounds!
    1. If time permits late racers may be allowed to race for time for fun or may be allowed to race other late racers for a spot in a qualifier (if time permits and without interrupting the flow of the races).
  10. Listen for announcements.
  11. Have Fun!