Racing Pumpkins Return

By Dave Fratello | September 29th, 2010
The humble origins of MB's pumpkin races trace back to neighborhoods east of Highland – gasp! maybe even east of Sepulveda!

Some day we'll tell our kids, and people all over America the world will tell their kids, that the notion of racing pumpkins on skate wheels down any available incline didn't always used to culminate in a high-pressure, big-money spectacle at the Manhattan Beach Pier.

Oh, yes, we'll say, there was a time when there was more beer and less candy, and a lot less hype. But that was all before the internets. And before the big boys got involved.

Face it, though, as an MB original turns 20 this year, the World Famous Pumpkin Race has grown. We now do it downtown. The originators now claim "hundreds" of clones of the event.

Soon there will be a professional tour. A cable channel. And you just know some East Coast sharpie will try to take hold of the event and milk the profits until, perhaps, his marriage ends spectacularly and we come back to what the event was always all about: The fans. Or the beer. Or the pageantry. Good sportsmanship. The pumpkins?

Last year, the pumpkins raised $220k for local schools. This year, no big pitch about fundraising, which is a bit surprising, so we'll have to check whether a McCourt is involved.

But it doesn't matter so much, does it?

The clarion call here in our very, very late Summer is clear: Get thee to thy workshop, dust off thy wheels, divine this year's plan of attack, and begin sawing, chopping, welding and generally engineering This Year's Winner. You can do it.

This year's races are Sunday, Oct. 24. Here's the whole day's event schedule.

Don't forget the Pier2Pier friendship walk (which actually IS a fundraiser) at 8am that day.

If you have no idea what we're talking about, brush up on:
Best to all who run, walk or roll.


More immediately, if you're looking to attend, work at, or avoid this weekend's MB Hometown Fair, here's the official site:  And for the 10k:

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