A Busy Fall Sunday in MB

By Dave Fratello | October 26th, 2013

There will be some real estate to see in MB on Sunday, but there's so much else to do, it's worth another post first.

Downtown Manhattan Beach will busy, so plan for traffic delays.

First up, because it's news, is the return of downtown trick-or-treating. That's Sunday 11am-3pm.

This hallowed, small-town tradition fell by the wayside in recent years. It's back now, with an earlier start and some mystery – where are the 5 colossal cauldrons of candy? (They promise some clues at the DTMB Facebook page.)

Any local merchant with the flyer in the window is offering treats for those in costume. (No, it doesn't count to say, "I'm dressed as a laid-back beach town dude.")

Earlier Sunday, it's the Skechers Friendship Walk, starting at 9:00am at the Manhattan Beach Pier. There's a "Fun Zone" at the pier that will be open through the day.

This pier-to-pier walk takes you, and several thousand others, along The Strand down to Hermosa. It's all for a good cause: Registration fees and sponsors' funds go to The Friendship Circle, a program benefiting children and young adults with special needs, and offering volunteer opportunities for local teens.

You can register Saturday at the downtown MB Skechers store, or check the event site for more South Bay locations.

Last, but not least, the rolling pumpkins are back, 11am-5pm downtown.

Variously called the "Halloween Pumpkin Race," the "World Famous Pumpkin Race" and, simply, the "Manhattan Beach Pumpkin Race," this completely unique local event has become a mainstay since it first moved downtown in 2007.

The notion of poking axles through pumpkins, decorating them and then racing them downhill seems so obvious, you might think it was invented, say, in New Hampshire in the 1800s.

But no – the first pumpkin racers were MB folks. In 1990, as the story goes, they were looking for something to do east of Sepulveda and hit on this brilliant notion. Rules emerged, traditions (like the Cheater Pumpkin) were founded, and the world's first pumpkin races were born.

The race – which boasts "hundreds" of imitators worldwide – now clogs downtown Manhattan Beach for hours one Sunday each year, encouraging fierce competition among children who pretend they designed the pumpkins that their overachieving dads engineered for them. (Disclosure: Dave's got a homemade pumpkin axle jig.)

The Pumpkin Race is a point of pride and/or peculiarity for Manhattan Beach, which is also (true fact) where the Pinewood Derby was invented. (We just love rolling things in this town.)

Walk, trick, treat, roll or race. That's a busy day.

There are also a few new open houses to see – more on those Sunday.

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