With great care. And that's exactly what everyone did today at the Giant Pumpkin Regatta on the waterfront in Burlington, Vermont today.
The day started out rainy, cold and very windy. In fact, the lake was sporting white caps when Bob and I showed up at 9:30 this morning. By 10:30, the sky was clear, and the temperature was comfortable. The sun brought people out in droves--news reports estimate 3,000 people--to what is unquestionably the silliest but most fun event around: The Giant Pumpkin Regatta.
Pirates, princesses, an aging hippie, and a few Ghostbusters (wearing ghostbuster backpacks) showed up, along with many other costumed competitors.
We decorated our pumpkin with a little blue and red paint, but kept the signs to a minimum: only three pennants. Next year? A vehicle wrap.
The New England Federal Credit Union painted their pumpkin gold and added what looked like an hommage to Harry Potter: a Snitch ball on one side and a witch's broom on the other. NEFCU's pilot was skilled and won our race. We came in third, if you don't count the poor chap who capsized and swam his pumpkin just ahead of us to the finish line.
Kudos to the staffs of the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce and Linking Learning to Life (LLL) and to all of the good-hearted sponsors, students, and local celebrities who willingly climbed into a several-hundred pound pumpkin and paddled about in Lake Champlain.
The proceeds of this event fund the PILOT Program, which is administered by the chamber and their partner, LLL. The program selects youth who are deemed eligible, and through leadership training, provide them with leadership skills that they can use to make a positive difference in their communities.
We want to acknowledge Dan who raised our pumpkin from seed. A member of the Giant Vegetable Grower's Association, he was the second leg of our 3-person team. Dan piloted his pumpkin with great finesse. Thank you!
Here's a short video of us waiting for the high sign from officials. You can see how many people showed up today just by the cluster of people around us. And that was only on the dock.