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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Pumpkin racing 101 – what, why and how


Update, Oct. 21, 2023 / The “what, why and how” presented in 2022 applies to the annual Naperville Pumpkin Race hosted by Turning Pointe Autism Foundation. This year’s event is set for Sat., Oct. 28, 2023, again near Moser Tower along Rotary Hill. Be on track with a creatively-designed pumpkin racer. Or just be there with family, friends and neighbors for the fun of it from one heat to the next.

Tents feature fall festival activities to experience in between races. (PN File Photo)


12PM-Noon – Event Begins and Registration Opens
  NOTE! 12:30PM – Turning Pointe Student Racing Commences*
1-2:30PM – Public Qualifying Races
2:30-2:45PMBreak in races. Costume Contest on Main Stage and Pumpkin Decor Contest at Award Showcase
2:45-3:15PM – Spotlight Business Races
3:15-3:30PM – Quarterfinals
3:30-4PM – Semi-Finals to the Championship Race
Good gourd! Creativity gives everyone pumpkin to talk about on race day. (PN File Photo)

Pumpkin Pit Row will close at 3 PM.

Kindly note that race event times are subject to change. Listen to announcers to keep track of race times. Don’t miss your event.

*Races during this time frame are for Turning Pointe students only.*

Free parking will be available across the street at Naperville Central High School.

No time for this year’s race on Oct. 28, 2023? Consider hosting a backyard race. Pumpkin Racer Kits are available while supply lasts.

Pumpkin Kits will be available for purchase at the Pumpkin Race event on Oct. 28.

To reserve a kit ahead of time, or for more questions, kindly reach out to Barb Brauer bbrauer@turningpointeaf.org.

Did you know? Since 2007, Turning Pointe Autism Foundation has strived to raise the quality of educational supports for children and young adults with autism. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Turning Pointe relies on events such as its Pumpkin Race as well as the partnership of volunteers, donors, school districts and Employment Partners to build a thriving center for students learning with autism.

Pumpkin racing 101 – what, why and how

Original Post, Oct. 10, 2022 / Turning Pointe Autism Foundation is thrilled to host the Naperville Pumpkin Race on October 29 (October 28, 2023) at Rotary Hill. Thanks to a partnership with We Grow Dreams donating pumpkins, generous sponsorships from Assured Partners and Gerald Cares, and the Park District supporting this one-of-a-kind event; we are ready to roll!

What is a Pumpkin Race? It was an idea developed by a former Pixar employee in California! He tied a pumpkin to his skateboard at his birthday party and loved how it raced down his driveway. At that moment, Carl realized he could design an event that anyone of any age or ability could enjoy. Racing pumpkins on wheels is as silly and fun as it sounds.

Why do we Race Pumpkins? But why we race pumpkins is also serious business! Not just at the race, but prior. At our race, you would be eliminated if you tied a pumpkin to a skateboard. Participants in the fun must use our student-packed racing kits to level the playing field. Creating these race kits gives Turning Pointe students vocational skills and paid work experience. Every kit helps students learn and participate as working teammates at Turning Pointe Autism Foundation.

How do you Pumpkin Race? We sell race kits with everything you need to transform your pumpkin into a vehicle fit for race day. Each kit has two axles, four skateboard wheels, and other assembly pieces to ensure your pumpkin can move fast on race day! You bring the creativity and paint, decorate, and design your pumpkin for the race however your imagination desires. Then bring it to the competition at Rotary Hill! We will all race, laugh, and marvel at how different we each understood the assignment.

As you consider your pumpkin-latte-spiced activities for the season, we hope you’ll join our community and bring your entire family out to see pumpkins racing on wheels!

Find more info at turningpointeautismfoundation.org/pumpkin-race.

RELATED PN STORIES / Search “Pumpkin Race”

Editor’s Note / Kids of all ages love this special event and the antics of the referees as they determine qualifiers for the Pumpkin Race. Gourds, cucumbers, zucchini, watermelon and cantaloupe are forbidden! Only pumpkins are allowed.

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Carrie Provenzale
Carrie Provenzalehttp://www.turningpointeautismfoundation.org
Carrie Provenzale is the Executive Director of Turning Pointe Autism Foundation. Previously, she served as a consultant and member of the Turning Pointe Board of Directors. She also has 20 years of experience with local and regional nonprofits.