More than 100 people packed Sycamore Street in downtown Niles for last year’s Great Pumpkin Race. The family-friendly event returns for a second running Sunday. Submitted photo
More than 100 people packed Sycamore Street in downtown Niles for last year’s Great Pumpkin Race. The family-friendly event returns for a second running Sunday. Submitted photo

Archived Story

Great Pumpkin Race returns to Niles

Published 7:13pm Thursday, October 17, 2013

Get ready for a rare sight this weekend, as pumpkins will be rolling at high rates of speed down Sycamore Street in downtown Niles.

That’s right. It’s time for the Great Pumpkin Race.

The Niles Noon Optimists Club is sponsoring the second edition of the Great Pumpkin Race Sunday.

Registration is from 10 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. with the race heats starting at 2 p.m.

The race will occur on the hill at Sycamore and Fourth streets in downtown Niles.

“Last year was our first race, and it was a great learning year for us,” said Betty Arndt, one of the race committee members. “People told us what they did or didn’t like, and we have tried to put some of the ideas into play. Cost of a racer has been restructured, and we have added some other activities.”

To build a pumpkin racer, just insert two independent axles through a pumpkin and attach wheels. Kits including everything needed to build a racer are available at the Bell Building on Sycamore.

Participants are encouraged to paint their pumpkins and dress in a costume.

Rules and more information are available at the website www.nilespumpkinrace.com, or on pamphlets available at the Niles-Buchanan YMCA and the Niles District Library.

Many things will be offered in addition to the race itself.

Attendees will have a chance to build a marshmallow shooter with the assistance of local Boy Scouts and have a photo taken with a pumpkin racecar.

Niles Youth Robotics will show off their robots. There will also be blacksmithing, quilting and spinning.

“Building a pumpkin race car is a hands on activity and I wanted people to have a chance to see some other hands on hobbies that people in our area do,” said Arndt.

Food will be for sale on site.

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