Pumpkin Festival

10 Oct

Happy Fall!  I know, two things that are so hard to believe: 1. That it’s already fall (Jeez, Louise!) and 2. There’s yet another festival here in Germany! Ha!  But alas, both are true and both are right up our alley!

OK, so I’ve been hearing from everyone at home that the weather in my beautiful Lowcountry has been but awesome in recent weeks-uncharacteristially fall-like with crisp mornings and sunny, cool afternoons.  SO jealous that we’re missing it and keeping our fingers crossed that it will stick around ’til we get home on Halloween!

That being said, we really can’t complain too much since we’re having the most beautiful fall I’ve ever seen.  Now remember, John’s from rural Kentucky where they get all the color-changing, falling leaves, etc.  But not me…Nope, I’m from the South…the coast, where it goes from sweltering to frigid (OK, maybe only frigid for us true Southerners, but still…) seemingly overnight!  So you can see why it’s such a real treat for me to be here in Germany during this gorgeous time of year!

Right now, we have trees of every color under the sun: golden yellow, cherry red, royal purple, jack-o-lantern orange, and even a few remaining emerald green.  The wind blows and the leaves dance.  I know it sounds cheesy, but I promise, it’s just the prettiest sight!

The Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival, held in the same town as last month’s Venetian Festival, is the largest in the world.  Each year, the Festival kicks off with a traditonal race- with competitors paddling giant (200lb.), hollowed-out pumpkins across a lake.  In addition to the races, there’s lots of all-things-pumpkin to see and eat…500,000 (yowza!) pumpkins and gourds in every variety imaginable, statues, memorabilia, wine (yes, there’s pumpkin wine and it’s delish!)…and just about every pumpkin delicacy under the sun!

 

Kick-off Pumpkin Races. How cool is that?!

 

 

 

At the top of the park, heading down to the Festival...Gorgeous fall day!

 

 

Almost like home 🙂

 

 

One of our favorite statues...It was HUGE.

 

 

Something odd we noticed...They don't carve pumpkins here. There are no jack-o-lanterns, just statues made from (mostly) hold pumpkins and gourds...Hmmm...

 

 

Ready to sample the finest pumpkin dishes and drinks, we made our way to the biergarten...

 

 

We decided to sample our Top 3 picks...Pumpkin Strudel, Pumpkin Soup with Pumpkin Maltaschen (Swabian ravioli) and Pumpkin Cake. Something odd? No pumpkin pie! 😦 Us Americans will have to teach these Germans a thing or two!

 

 

Two thumbs up for the homemade Pumpkin Wine!

 

The Festival is held on the grounds surrounding the Ludwigsburg Castle, often referred to as the Versailles of Southern Germany. Its baroque palaces and extensive gardens are one of the highlights of the German state of Baden-Württemburg, conjuring up visions of an 18th Century royal capital when Duke Eberhard Ludwig of Württemburg commissioned their construction.

 

Ludwigsburg Castle. The Races are on this lake, the 'heart' of the Festival is held in the gardens behind the castle.

 

 

German growers can enter the 'Largest Pumpkin Contest...' These are this year's 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. The heaviest weighed in at just over 1500 lbs.!

 

 

Feeling pretty proud to be standing among the best of the best 🙂 You can't really tell, but they're slightly taller than I am!

 

 

Heading back to the car, we found another castle...So odd to even write that! Ha!

 

So for those of you who’ve never been a Pumpkin Festival, now you have!  While probably not our most favorite of all the festivals we’ve been to, definitely plenty of fun and a PERFECT way to spend a fabulous fall afternoon.  Now if we can just get our hands on a plain ‘ol orange pumpkin to carve for our porch!

2 Responses to “Pumpkin Festival”

  1. Samantha Eidson October 10, 2010 at 6:09 PM #

    You should definitely be able to find pumpkins but get them when you do! One year we had a pumpkin carving party (a lot of the foreign players had never carved a pumpkin) and we had seen plenty of pumpkins so we waited until the week of the party. When we went to find pumpkins we were told that Halloween was last week (uh…okay…you could have fooled us :)) and ended up carving honey dew melons!!! We all had so much fun though 🙂

    • Erin T. October 10, 2010 at 7:51 PM #

      I remember you telling me that story! I hope you got pictures of everyone with their carved jack-o-melons! 🙂

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