In 2000, Jim Beauchemin approached the
Main Street Program with a wild idea, "What if we took giant pumpkins
and turned them into boats for a regatta on the Piscataquog?" As
soon as we heard the idea, we knew it was a winner! Thanks to the
support of the New Hampshire
Giant Pumpkin Growers Association and countless sponsors throughout
the Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off and Regatta has become the signature event
for Goffstown Main Street.
The first year, four pumpkins were turned
into boats on a snowy October day. The captains represented the town's
Board of Selectmen,
Fire and Police Departments, and Main Street. Barbara Griffin, then
chairman of the Board of Selectmen, set the standard for decorating
boats with her entry as Glinda
the Good Witch in a pink pumpkin. Police Chief Mike French began
his tradition of competing in costume with a wild assortment of clothing
mask! Main Street's Jim Beauchemin dressed as a traditional New England
fisherman in yellow oilskins. Fire Chief Ed Hunter took a more traditional
view, and wore firefighter's garb. It must have worked, because he
took home the first trophy as winner of the Regatta.
Following years saw a wide range of costumes and boat
themes from up to ten different boats each year. A constant, though,
is the appearance
of a representative from each of the four original boats.
The weekend is full of fun, with additions of games,
catapulting, Art Show-off, Pumpkin Cook-off, and much, much more.
Non-profit partners reap some of the financial benefit
of the event selling everything from t-shirts to fried bologna sandwiches.
Main Street is proud of its role in bringing this annual
event to Goffstown!