World's Largest Pumpkin Festival Displays Over 450,000 Pumpkins in Ludwigsburg

Oct 13, 2016

Kürbisausstellung Ludwigsburg Enlarge image (© Kürbisausstellung Ludwigsburg) The Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival is in full swing again. The annual celebration of all things pumpkin is the largest in the world. Featuring sculptures made of pumpkins, live music and pumpkin boat races, this unique German event attracts 400,000 visitors every year, thereby demonstrating the growing interest that Germans have in Halloween.

More than 450,000 pumpkins are displayed in the gardens of the palace in Ludwigsburg, a city located in the German state of Baden-Württemberg. Each year, the pumpkins are arranged according to a specific theme. The 2016 theme is "circus" and the festival features pumpkins arranged in the shapes of clowns, an elephant, a lion and other circus animals. The sculptures were arranged by artist Pit Ruge, who has been creating pumpkin art for the past 17 years.

Kürbisausstellung Ludwigsburg Enlarge image (© Kürbisausstellung Ludwigsburg) The Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival has much to see, but it also has a variety of unique activities. The so-called Kürbisregatta is a pumpkin boat race where canoeists try to cross a lake in a giant hollowed-out pumpkin - a risky maneuver for anyone who is afraid of sinking.

The festival also features competitions to find the heaviest and longest pumpkins. Last year, the heaviest pumpkin weighed in at 1,791 lbs. The current world record is 2,323 lbs, which was set at the 2014 Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival by Swiss pumpkin grower Beni Meier. The festival features a European Pumpkin Weigh-Off and a German Pumpkin Weigh-Off. 

Kürbisausstellung Ludwigsburg Enlarge image (© Kürbisausstellung Ludwigsburg) On the last day of the festival, the winning pumpkins are destroyed in a smashing ceremony, after which visitors have the chance to take some of the giant pumpkins' seeds.

Those who visit the grounds of the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival can also sample pumpkin-flavored dishes, wine or squash. Specialties include pumpkin burgers, pumpkin-flavored popcorn and pumpkin cake. 

Kürbisausstellung Ludwigsburg Enlarge image (© Kürbisausstellung Ludwigsburg) Visitors can also go to the Halloween-themed tent to carve their own pumpkins. This year's festival runs from September 2 to November 6.

By Nicole Glass, Editor of The Week in Germany

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Kürbisausstellung Ludwigsburg