At this time of year, pumpkins start to slowly invade our consciousness. Supermarkets start to stock up, coffee shops and restaurants infuse their offerings with pumpkin flavourings, and spooky-faced pumpkins begin to appear on people’s doorsteps and in their windows. However, one city in Germany takes the pumpkin trend even further.
Ludwigsburg, close to Stuttgart, is currently holding its annual pumpkin festival, which sees people travel from all over Europe to join in with the fun. The event will run until November 5th 2017, so there is still plenty of time to plan a trip. Here’s what you need to know.
This Year’s Theme Is Rome
Every year, the giant sculptures that are created out of pumpkins and displayed at the festival are given a theme. In the past, this has been ‘under the sea’ or ‘dinosaurs’, leading to some impressive creations that defy belief when you release they are made with nothing but pumpkins – different varieties, shapes and colours but, still, pumpkins. In 2017, the theme is ‘Rome’. So expect to see oversized gladiators and dramatic Roman monuments.
Obviously, Everything Is Pumpkin-Related
This will not come as a surprise, given the name and nature of the festival, but everything revolves around pumpkins. As well as the sculptures on display, there is a showcase of giant vegetables, pumpkin cuisine to try, pumpkin carving, a competition to see who has managed to grow the largest pumpkin and even a pumpkin patch where children’s stories are told. Different events are held on different days, so be sure to check the calendar to see what’s on when you’re there.
There’s Even Pumpkin Paddling
One of the more outrageous pumpkin-related activities is the pumpkin canoe regatta. Contestants can either grow their own pumpkin, hollow it out and paddle it themselves or use one of those made by the festival organisers. Paddlers will them take to the lake to see who can propel themselves across the water in the quickest time. Cash prizes are given out to the winners, with higher values awarded to those who grew and sailed their own pumpkin.
The Festival Has A Smashing End
After two months of festival fun, the autumnal activities come to an end on 5th November with a ritual fit for an event like this. Having crowned the winner of the heaviest pumpkin, the massive entrants are then cut up by their owners so that everybody can see what they are like inside. As well as gleaning some tips and advice from the champion growers, aspirational pumpkin producers can purchase the seeds of the winning entry in the hope of being on the podium themselves next year.
It All Takes Place In A Beautiful Setting
An event like this needs a striking location and that’s exactly what you can expect. Set in the gardens of the beautiful Baroque Ludwigsburg Palace, you are always aware of your stunning surroundings. You don’t just have to admire this former royal residence though, as tours are available for when you are done with all things pumpkin.
If you would like to book a Ludwigsburg city break or visit the festival on a day trip from Stuttgart, we can help you plan your holiday. Our team will tailor-make everything so that it is bespoke to you. Call us on 0800 988 3369 for more details.