Cinderella & Her Pumpkin Kayak

Disney has it that Cinderella dressed up nicely and rode a horse driven pumpkin carriage to meet her Prince Charming at the ball. These days with rising water level as the result of global warming, she can no longer travel in a pumpkin carriage. Instead, fairy godmother has to make her a pumpkin kayak which will take her to the ball.

Last week, a couple of our friends and ourselves headed south to the village of Kasterlee in Belgium to take part in the Pompoenregatta (aka The Pumpkin Regatta). It was a day where people put on their fancy dress and raced the pumpkin kayak up and down a local lake. Yes, I know that sounds strange, but it was real.

In fact, it was an annual event which was hosted a week after the village’s giant pumpkin competition. Instead of wasting the pumpkins the folks put them into good use and carved some of them up into pumpkin kayaks for the race.

A welcome sign made of pumpkins and a squash
Giant pumpkin carving at the event entrance
One of the giant pumpkins getting ready to crafted up into the pumpkin kayak
Pumpkin carving was a serious business. A heavy duty forklift was called in to lift the pumpkin kayaks from the ground into the lake!


Celebrating the Pumpkin Greatness

Of course, the central theme of the Pompoenregatta was the celebration of pumpkins and harvest. Everywhere we looked the venue was decorated with lots of pumpkins. I have to admit that I had never seen so many pumpkins in one place ever until that weekend!

Pumpkin everywhere!
Pumpkin curling!? We really enjoyed some of their pre-race entertainment!
Our friend Ajinkya has been scouted by a photographer and he was asked to model in his photoshoots. Maybe he’ll turn up in the GQ magazine at some point?
The double kayak with Phil and Hayley inside. The winning and runner-up pumpkins of this year’s village giant pumpkin competition were on display on the trailer behind us. The winning pumpkin weighted over 950 kg.
A baby made of pumpkin. How cute is that and it doesn’t poo and vomit on you too!
Are they pumpkin sheep?


Ready, Steady, Go

So it was out time to go. We quickly headed back to the car and got our costumes out! Guess what? I decided to dress up as Cinderella! Rather than the elegant long dress that Disney depicts, I went for the short Oktober Beerfest outfit! Well, how saucy was this Cinderella!  Others, who were slightly more sensible, decided to dress in Prince Charming and two mice! With the only person who cross-dressed in the entire competition. I certainly got a lot of attention. There were even men who catcalled me! Of course, I blew them a kiss in return!

Pince Charming and I looked at the race and worked out the best tactics.
Yes, you have seen it correctly. I dressed up as saucy Cinderella. I had a lot of WTF looks from the children. I swear I had scarred them for the rest of the lives.
Cinderella’s pre-race photo with Prince Charming and her mice.

The jury of the pumpkin race enjoyed sitting on the beach! Love thier outfit
Final countdown…

Marta the mouse was the first person in the race!




It was certainly great fun to dress up and join in the festivity. It was really interesting to see how creative people get with their pumpkins. Of course, saying to people that we have kayaked in the pumpkin is a good conversation starter. At least our family thought we were absolutely bonkers to have done that. I’m certain that I will scar some of my family for life when they see the pictures of me dressing up in Cinderella!


Trip Details

  • This year was the 10th anniversary of the Pompoenregatta. To enroll to the next year’s race visit or visit their facebook page more information.
  • You will need a team of 4 to take part in the race. Apart from being the fastest in the race, a prize will also be given the team with the most original fancy dress. So, get creative.
  • Entry fee this year was €10 per team.

Have you kayaked in a pumpkin before? How did you celebrate autumn and the harvest? Comment below and we would love to hear your experience!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. I learn something new from you every week!

    Also, those kids were pretty shelter if you scarred them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To be fair, those kids were around 5 years old, Their WTF looks were absolutely priceless XD

      Liked by 1 person

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