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Oct. 10 is entry deadline for New Big Bad Pumpkin Race and Waterfront Bash at Shawnee Mission Park on Oct. 18
POSTED: 10/01/2008
The event is being presented by the Childrens Services Department of the Johnson County Park and Recreation District and was inspired by a similar race in Manhattan Beach, Calif. In addition to the pumpkin contest, performances by family-friendly entertainers including: Magician Devin Henderson at 2 p.m.; Jim Cosgrove "Mr. Stinky Feet" at 3 p.m.; and Bongo Barry at 4 p.m. There will also be concessions, sidewalk pastel mural painting, free hayrides from the southeast corner of the parking lot, and "pumpkin chucking," which will involve throwing small pumpkins at a floating target in Shawnee Mission Park Lake

The event is free to spectators, but there is a fee of $20 for each entry in the pumpkin race, which also includes a T-shirt, a memory photo, competitor ribbon, and a concession pass good for a free drink. Advance registration is required for all racers. For more information, visit or call (913) 236-1218. All pumpkins must be checked in and ready for inspection by 1 p.m. on Oct. 18.

The race will be single-elimination style similar to "pinewood derby" races and will take place on a course in the marina parking lot which will be roughly 50 yards long. Under the event rules, each entry must be constructed from a single carved pumpkin and use two independent axles with wheels attached and which must run through the pumpkin. No chassis of any kind, such as skateboards or toy trucks, can be used and motorized enhancements are not allowed. A12-inch ramp will get the pumpkins rolling and the slope of the parking lot should do the rest. Trophies will be awarded to the top three competitors.

Entries in violation of the rules will be allowed to race, but are disqualified from winning, although they can still be considered for the categories, which include: "best dressed," "best school pride," "best animal," "most likely to be impounded," "most awesome crash," "most cheerful," "best sports theme," "most unusual," "best chick magnet," "looks most like mom," "best Land of Oz character," and "most muscle."

Booth space is also being sold for this event, and in addition to promoting their business or agency, booth participants must also provide an interactive activity. Call (913) 236-1218 for more information.

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